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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 01:53 GMT 02:53 UK
Business 'breaking pensions pact'
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber
Mr Barber accuses some employers of hypocrisy on pensions
Employers have broken their promise to share the pensions burden with workers, the TUC general secretary is to tell business leaders on Tuesday.

Brendan Barber will tell a CBI meeting that many people are angry at the move away from final salary schemes.

Hundreds of the schemes closed last year and half of the UK's biggest employers are no longer offering them to new workers, the TUC claims.

The CBI says employers alone are not to blame for the pensions crisis.

There was an implicit promise that employers would do the right thing. This promise has been broken
Brendan Barber

Final salary schemes link a person's pension to their salary on retirement.

Employers used pension scheme surpluses to take contributions holidays and reductions worth 18.15 billion between 1988 and 2003 and were refunded a further 1.2 billion, according to Mr Barber.

"But, the argument ran, if things became tight, the employer would fulfil their part of the bargain and keep the scheme going," he will tell the conference, which is taking place in Birmingham.

"There was an implicit promise that employers would do the right thing. This promise has been broken.

Workers on a break
Many workers are in schemes that do not suit them, the TUC says
"Thousands of employees are being shifted into riskier schemes which may not suit their needs, while at the same time employers are significantly cutting back the amount they contribute."

'Hypocrisy'

He will also accuse companies of double standards for funding the pensions of directors while at the same time claiming staff schemes are too expensive to run.

A CBI spokesman said it was wrong to make one party the villain of the pensions debate.

The conference will also hear from the Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson and Pensions Commission chairman Adair Turner, who warned last week that people face a 30% cut in retirement income.





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