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Annie Hayes

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Employers shy away from pensions

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A new survey by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) shows that less than one in ten job adverts make any mention of pensions.

The study was conducted over a two-week period last month. Job adverts were studied in print publications ranging from national broadsheets to local papers. Out of a total 1,519 adverts, only 101 mentioned pensions related benefits. While only half of the 101 adverts listed the type of pension as a final salary scheme with only 13 referring to the level of employer contribution.

The union group argues that businesses should be compelled to state whether a pensions scheme is in place, the type of pension and whether it is contributory or non-contributory.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), however, greeted the news with less enthusiasm.

BCC President, Bill Midgley agreed that it would be advantageous for businesses to advertise their pensions scheme where they have it in place, referring to is: “an important part of the overall remuneration package for employees.”

However, Midgley strongly disagreed with the idea that all firms should be compelled to mention whether or not they offered some form of pension.

“This would be tantamount to shaming employers into providing contributions for their staff and ignores the essential fact that many smaller employers simply find pension provision cost-prohibitive. What we need to see are tangible financial incentives – such as greater tax relief for employer contributions – to encourage smaller employers to provide this important benefit.”

Midgley added that a shift in individuals’ attitudes towards saving for retirement was needed: “Many employees still find the whole issue of pensions extremely complex and, as a result, fail to save. Simplifying the deal that they get from the state by introducing a flat-rate state pension will help to highlight the importance of private saving. This, in turn, should encourage them to discuss the issue with their employer and come to an arrangement that suits both parties.”

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Annie Hayes

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