UK - Robin Ellison, pensions expert and a partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, is launching a political party in the UK, which he hopes will raise awareness of pension issues at the next general election and improve public services.

Launch preparations are still in their early stages but Ellison is already talking to other pension professionals who may be interested in standing for parliament on behalf of The U Party, to raise awareness of key issues concerning long-term government policy and pensions in particular.

Given the small resources this new political party expects to amass, Ellison and his team intend to run an online virtual campaign on issues such as improved public services and better government through a party "that is prepared to be left on some subjects and right on others - depending on what works", according to information available on an early version of the party's website.

Ellison - who is also former chairman of teh National Association of Pension Funds - said his main priority is to raise pensions awareness among the mainstream political parties and encourage the development of a holistic strategy.

"None of the parties have a holistic pensions strategy," said Ellison. "We would like to see them announce a holistic system for the public pensions system, private pensions and the tax system. We will have general policies as well. But the aim is to make pension higher profile that it would usually be."

Ellison hopes to field up to 12 parliamentary candidates for next year's UK general election.

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