Union looks to Australia to solve UK’s pensions problem

The UK’s largest private sector union has called for a nationwide requirement for all employees and employers to contribute to savings schemes to avert a pensions crisis.

Amicus says that a similar scheme to the one operated in Australia is essential to address the UK’s pension problems. In Australia employers contribute 9% each, resulting in improved pension savings levels.

By contrast, the pensions savings gap the UK between the estimated required level of pensions savings and the actual level of savings is £27bn.

Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, said: “We believe that legislation compelling employers and employees to make minimum pension contributions throughout their working lives is required to ensure that people save enough for their retirement and to protect pension schemes.

“This would also protect the position of good employers who offer good schemes and stop rogue employers closing viable schemes.”

A recent Amicus survey revealed that 40% of the population had made absolutely no pension provision. Amicus wants 10% of salary to be made through employer contributions and 5% employee contributions.

The Pensions Commission, headed by Adair Turner, is due to publish its final report this autumn.

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