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TUC wants reps to help staff on pension issues

The TUC is calling for the Government to introduce a network of lay pension representatives to work with scheme members to raise aware- ness of pension issues.

It has published the plan in its final agenda ahead of its annual congress in Brighton this month.

It wants to establish pension representatives in workplaces to mirror the function of health and safety and learning representatives for employees. The motion calls for the Government to appoint and train representatives to help scheme members draw up questions to pension fund trustees and IFAs and help them interpret replies.

The representatives would not be qualified or expected to give specific personal finance advice to individuals but they would be expected to draw individuals&#39 attention to fund rules which affect them and to help members interpret the rules.

An amendment by the Transport and General Workers&#39 Union calls for the Government to ensure that at least 50 per cent of trustees are member-nominated.

It wants to see the Government ensure that the pensions protection fund and financial assistance scheme are adequately funded in addition to improving pension provision for women and the low-paid.

Finance union Accord, which represents HBOS workers, says it is concerned that Inland Revenue regulations make it impossible for employees who continue to work after retirement age to draw their pension in addition to their continuing salary.

Accord general secretary Ged Nichols is calling on Congress to lobby the Government to end the anomaly. He says: “This is an unfair and anomalous situation because if the employee moved to another employer they would be able to enjoy the benefit of their pension and receive a second income from their continued employment.”

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