Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled plans to create a fund to increase the provision of advice on pensions in the workplace.
Speaking at the Labour Party conference this week, he said the fund to train union representatives to give generic advice on pensions “from a source they can trust” would establish a network of lay pension reps in the workplace.
He pledged to put in place measures to end the “head in the sand culture” around retirement provision and restore confidence in pensions and saving.
Johnson said at the Brighton conference he wants to see more companies offer high-quality information or automatically enrolling workers into pension schemes.
Pensions have shot up the election agenda for Labour, the Tories and the LibDems and Johnson emphasised the importance of predecessor Andrew Smith's creation of the pension protection fund, which he said was an historic achievement.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The TUC very much welcomes this new challenge fund. Many employees do not know where to turn for good pension advice but they will trust their union to tell it to them straight.”
Johnson said: “I want workers to get advice on pensions from a source they can trust – their trade union representative. That is why I am announcing the creation of a new challenge fund to generate more workplace advice by specially trained union rep-resentatives.”