About Pensions Champions
The massive publicity that there has been on pensions issues in recent years has meant that it is generally understood that pensions matter. What is less well understood though is how pensions work and the choices that individuals have. The TUC has launched this project to build on the work and support that unions already undertake on pensions. It is an important initiative in tackling a major difficulty that too many work people face, knowing and understanding how to provide for an comfortable retirement once their working days are over.
Having more people in workplaces who can pass on basic information about pensions to their colleagues will start to correct these problems. Pensions Champions will be able to tell them something about the options available and help them find out about pensions, past and present, they may have paid into.
The project is keen to reach groups who are especially vulnerable in under-providing for their retirement, these include:
- Women – they tend to have a shorter working life, work part time and may not qualify for a pension, poorer take up of employer contribution to pensions - 700,000 do not.
- Over 50s - half population between 50 and State Retirement Age are under-saving.
- Young people - only 37% in their 20s contribute to a pension, only 50% of employees under 30 who are offered an employer pension take it up.
- Ethnic minorities – they are under-represented in work and amongst higher earners, over-represented at risk of under-saving.
- ‘At risk' industrial sectors - construction, retail, hotels, restaurants and related businesses.
Between now and March 2008 when the project finishes, the TUC will be recruiting Pensions Champions and offering training through local trade union education centres. At the same time we will publicise the project as widely as possible within affiliated trade unions and amongst employers. We recognise that the champions will need considerable support if they are to succeed and it is important that all parties understand their role.
You do not need to be a trade union member to either become a Pensions Champion or benefit from their support.
If there are 5 or more of you who would like some support it may be possible to arrange for a visit from a Pensions Champion to your workplace. Either contact your union locally or the TUC, details below.
For more information about the project, to apply to become a Pensions Champion or to arrange a visit by a champion contact Terry Segars, Pensions Education Officer, using our contact form, or on 020 7467 1363.