UK- The Trades Union Congress, the body representing more than 7 million UK workers, will headline its conference in Blackpool next week with the state of Britain’s pension industry. John Monks, general secretary of the TUC, is reported to have already warned employers that unions should strike in defence of their pensions.

The TUC has been running a “Pay Up For Pensions’ campaign in response to employers closing final salary related pension schemes, or reducing contributions into new schemes.

Urgent address of contributory pension schemes is being called for as defined benefit schemes seem to be becoming more unpopular among employers. There are, for example, two million fewer in final salary schemes today than in 1995.

With the average life span increasing, the TUC say pension provisions must be dealt with. It is estimated that men need around £180,000 in savings and women £210,000 at 60 to provide a pension of £10,000 a year.

The TUC is proposing changes in legislation that would therefore force employers to offer contributory pension schemes if workers themselves were prepared to contribute. In a report it stated that 12 million workers in the UK are still without a company pension scheme while a further five million rely solely on the state pension to fund their retirement. Two of Britain’s political parties want to reduce the proportion of pension provided by the government from an average 60p in the pound to 40p.