Company Pensions: Unilever Strikes

Unilever strikes

Unilever strikes

In December the multinational goods company experienced a national strike after UK operations stated that they will be moving 5,000 of their 7,000 workers substantial pension scheme towards the middle of 2013. Leaving the outstanding 2,000 already signed up to the new arrangement, which was closed in 2008.

Longer hours and increased income

Unite, Usdaw and GMB unions state that there will be a sequence of strikes at the beginning of next week, after proposing that new company pension schemes would slice 40% of their income in retirement. Confidence in a guaranteed income during retirement is deteriorating  for the majority of Private sector staff as only 19% of companies allow new employees to enrol in a final salary scheme.

Public sector workers however, enjoy benefits in company pensions at a price. The current government are asking that employees work longer hours for and to pay more in order for them to receive dependable  benefits which are not available to workers in the private sector.

Staff are represented by the unions all over the UK. Most of the 2,500 factory workers are in areas such as Purfleet, Warrington, Leeds, Gloucester, Manchester, in the North of England and Ewloe, Wales.

Last FTSE-100 company

Unilever believe that the UK’s pensions schemes need to ‘reflect realities’ if they were to sustain financially during their retirement. Shell caused a huge stir last week when they decided to end their final salary scheme after being the last company in the FTSE-100 in the UK. This was surprising as they recorded an increase in 2010.

The Association of Consulting Actuaries carried out a survey this week, finding that 90% of companies within the private sector no longer allows new entrants to the defined benefit scheme. The Association believes that the final salary pension arrangement is “a broken model” and that the introduction of the new pension schemes will be extremely competitive.

Another option to ensure that your retirement income is more financially stable is to open a personal pension such as the stakeholder pension.

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