Help young workers but don’t blame the old says TUC

By agency reporter
February 2, 2017

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that older people’s pensions are weighing on the wages or pension benefits of young workers, says a new briefing published by the TUC yesterday (1 February 2017).

The paper on intergenerational inequality –Talkin’ ‘bout my generation published to coincide with the TUC’s annual pension conference in London yesterday, says that:

  • Changes to the labour market, rather than pensions for older workers, have placed young people at the sharp end of falling pay, rising insecurity and poor retirement provision.
  • Pitting different generations against each other is unhelpful and divisive and risks the wider characteristics and causes of inequality being overlooked.
  • A greater role for unions has a proven impact in reducing inequality.

The report calls on ministers to ensure increased pension provision across the board rather than focusing on the distribution of an inadequate pool of retirement savings between different generations.

Speaking ahead of the conference at Congress House, TUC Assistant General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Many young workers are unable to save for a pension because they’re stuck in low-paid, insecure work. But we are not going to fix this problem by pitting them against older people. Let’s not forget that 1.5 million pensioners live in poverty – and most of them are women."

He concluded: “All generations deserve fair pay during their working lives and a decent standard of living in retirement. We must focus on the wider causes of inequality to improve pensions across the board.”

* Read Talkin’ ‘bout my generation here

* TUC

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