Pensions protestors march on London

19 June 2004
Pensioners and union members take to the streets today to highlight the extent of the UK's pensions crisis.

A march organised by the TUC will seek to persuade the government to legislate to help diffuse the pensions time bomb.

Union bosses claim that cutbacks by employers have left thousands of the poorest paid workers without any pension provision. Research by the TUC revealed that a third fewer people earning less than £200 a week now have a pension compared to six years ago.

The march comes at a time when confidence in the financial services sector is at an all time low following the collapse of a number of high profile employee contributions schemes.

TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, has warned the government that a "pensions time bomb" is threatening to leave "more and more people" in poverty when they retire.

Earlier this week separate research by the TUC revealed that one in four people in some parts of the country would die before claiming their pension if the statutory retirement age was increased to 70.

Today's protest will culminate with a rally in Trafalgar Square as part of the "Pay Up For Pensions" campaign.

The work and pensions secretary, Andrew Smith, told Sky News that he welcomed any action that would help push pensions up the agenda.