Tag Archives: pensions

Redbridge Labour Women: Made in Dagenham, The Next Chapter

25 Apr

Driving Women to the Top

Sunday May 12th, Holiday Inn, Ilford. 09.00-17.00

by Annajoy David

When I returned to Redbridge after my time in Scarborough and Whitby as PPC I noted a distinct lack of women active in the party . When I turned up to my first GC meeting in Ilford North CLP, I think I was 1 of 2 women in attendance. I have to say it wasn’t much better out canvassing and talking and listening to residents. It was a case of “rarely seen” and practically “never heard”

The two CLP’s have been working hard with our excellent borough organiser Matt Goddin to do something about this. Following a workshop at our Redbridge wide conference last September we started a women’s coffee morning group.

Our little group is now not so little and has a wide range of women involved; some of whom are supporters of the Labour Party, we also have many of our women councillors along with lots of our new younger women Driving Women to the Topmembers .

The conference will principally focus on Health and Well Being issues and those of Work, Pay and Pensions. There will also be a range of workshops on these issues and one on Education and local schools hosted, by Fiona Millar

In the morning our panel will be discussing Work, Pay and Benefits: the female economy including join Seema Malhotra MP and Susan Nash, former chair of Young Labour with Unite the Union Siobhan Endean, National Officer for Equalities,

The panel will run for about an hour including a 15 minute Q&A. It will be chaired by Cllr. Elaine Norman from Redbridge Labour Group. The Panel discussion will run from 11.00-12.00

The afternoon will focus on health and well-being issues, such as obesity and the role of fast food chains, the “pollution” of our high streets of the industrialised global food chain . Diane Abbott will focus on “sex-texting”, looking at the influences and pressures on young teenage girls, and the good, bad and ugly in social media and women and girls. The panel discussion will also focus on domestic violence and abuse and the 1 billion rising campaign. Diane Abbot MP and Stella Creasy MP will sit on this panel with Gladys Xavier, Deputy Director of Redbridge Public Health .

A crèche for children will be available and a ‘1,000 dresses’ swap shop clothes stall will run throughout the day. A full buffet hot/cold lunch will be provided as will servings of tea and coffee. The event is free and is by registration in advance. You can sign up by clicking here, and there is a map to the venue below. We look forward to seeing you there.

Top bosses’ pension pots nearly 25 times the average

6 Sep

Directors of the UK’s top companies have built up pension pots worth an average of £4.3 million, according to the TUC’s tenth annual PensionsWatch survey published today (Thursday).

PensionsWatch, which analyses the pension arrangements of 351 directors from FTSE 100 companies, shows that the average transfer value (pension pot) for a director’s defined benefit (DB) pension has increased by £400,000 over the last year to reach £4.33 million – providing an annual pension of £240,191. The biggest pension pot in this year’s survey is worth £19.4 million.

The total value of the 144 directors’ DB pension pots analysed in PensionsWatch is a whopping £600 million.

PensionsWatch shows that the value of the average director’s pension has increased faster than most ordinary pension schemes and is now 24.4 times the size of the average occupational pension (£9,828).

The survey finds that the average company contribution to directors’ defined contribution (DC) pensions is £144,508. The average employer contribution rate to a director’s pension (as a percentage of salary) is 22 per cent. This is nearly four times the size of the average employer contribution rate (six per cent) in DC pensions. The figure is also more than seven times the size of the maximum employer contribution required under the new automatic enrolment regime that will start being phased in for all workers from next month.

An increasing number of top directors now receive cash payments instead of participating in company pension schemes. The average cash payment was £164,925, an increase of £26,489 on last year. The biggest cash payment was £818,594.

The most common Normal Retirement Age (NRA) for senior executives is 60, with three times as many directors able to retire at 60 than 65. In contrast, the most common NRA for ordinary scheme members is 65, a figure which is expected to rise further.

The ever-increasing value of directors’ pensions is in sharp contrast to the fortunes of the pensions of most ordinary workers, with the number of employees saving in employer-backed schemes falling every year.

As pensions are generally not performance-related, the TUC believes there is no case for the stark differences between the pension terms enjoyed by directors and those offered to the rest of the workforce.

Private sector companies should follow the example of the public sector, where there are no platinum-style boardroom pensions and all staff are members of the same pension scheme and enjoy the same benefits, says the TUC. Indeed in public sector schemes better paid employees pay higher percentage contributions from their pay than lower paid workers.

Executive pay and bonuses have been under close scrutiny recently, forcing the government to look into possible reforms. But the TUC report says that because of the confusing and sometimes misleading reporting of directors’ pensions, the scale of executive excess has largely escaped the attention of shareholders and the media. The TUC is calling for greater clarity in the reporting of pensions, including the mandatory disclosure of accrual and contribution rates.

The TUC wants to see a legal requirement for more comprehensive reporting on company pension provision for directors and employees in company annual reports. The government is currently consulting on revisions to remuneration reporting regulations, and changes to pensions reporting should be included as part of these reforms.

Pensions will be a hot topic at the 144th annual Congress next week, when unions will debate the acceleration of the increase in the State Pension Age (SPA), condemn attacks on the pensions of workers across the public and private sectors, and call for a restoration of trust in the pensions system by tackling hidden and excessive charges.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Companies continue to chip away at the pensions of ordinary workers while awarding their directors solid platinum pensions worth hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

“Top executives already enjoy huge pay packages that go up every year irrespective of the success of their company or the state of the economy. These salaries alone guarantee lucrative pensions so the generous packages uncovered are an insult to the vast majority of workers who are denied such favourable terms.

“The gap between the pensions of top directors and everyone else does not just reflect the excess of the super-rich, but shows just how poor pensions are for ordinary workers in the private sector, where more than two out of three get no employer pension help.

“Automatic enrolment is a great advance as it will make employers contribute to pensions for the first time, but we need to see employers offering more than the bare minimum if we are to avoid a growing pensioner poverty crisis.”

PensionsWatch 2012 is available to download at http://bit.ly/TA8zLR

“Things are getting tough” #M10

10 May

Stephanie Wilkins, a member of Unite, has worked as a bio medical scientist for the NHS for over twenty years.

In this short interview, she claims she has been forced to join fellow NHS workers, and others from across the public sector, on the picket line in sending a message to the UK Government.

Like all those taking part in this 24 hour strike Stephanie says she doesn’t want to pay more to work longer and get less.

The changes will mean that she will be £30 a month or £1,400 a year worse off.

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