Pensions reality "will bite hard for young people", warns TUC

04 April 2006
A worrying number of young people in their late teens or early twenties are not saving into a pension fund, says the TUC.

Almost three quarters of working men (74 per cent) and two-thirds of working women (67 per cent) aged 18 to 24 do not have a pension, according to statistics presented to the Young Members' Conference.

This has prompted the TUC to launch a pensions advice leaflet to help young people understand their options, and gives parameters on the proportion of their income most people will need to pay in to enjoy a decent retirement.

Speaking at the conference in Eastbourne, TUC deputy general Frances O'Grady said: "Young people struggling with debts and housing costs are faced with tough choices and many are putting off saving or think they will get by without their own pension."

She then warned: "If pensions saving is left too long, reality will bite hard for young people when they hit retirement."

The TUC is urging the government to implement a national pension saving scheme, recommended by the Turner Commission, which would require employers to pay into staff pensions alongside staff contributions, unless employees opted out.

Such a move would require a "bold and brave" approach on the part of the government, Ms Grady added, in order to resist the "employer onslaught" that is expected against the scheme.

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