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UK urges firms to provide more pension details

UK – The government has called on companies to provide more details about pensions to their employees.

Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks said he wanted firms to include details of employer pension contributions in wage slips and provide pensions information in recruitment material.

"Government here is leading by example,” Wicks told a conference organised by the Association of British Insurers.

“All staff in the Department for Work and Pensions now receive wage slips clearly showing the employer pension contribution. Similarly Jobcentre Plus systems will be changed in 2004 so that vacancies will contain more pensions information.

"By highlighting the value of pension provision we make sure that people have the information they need to make a more informed choice."

The Green Paper published in December last year stressed the importance of better information and promotion of pensions. Wicks pressed employers to do more and said he would welcome help from the ABI and employers to spread best practice in this area.

"We in DWP are starting to get our own house in order - and we will be encouraging the rest of the Civil Service and the wider public sector to follow. We are starting to offer advice sessions to staff to help them plan ahead. These are positive developments that make good business sense."

Meanwhile the ABI says people lack confidence in the government on pensions.

“There is very little faith in the government as a provider of pensions and people are discouraged by the system of means-testing which is already affecting the many rather than the few,” the ABI said.

It has launched a new report entitled “The State of the Nation’s Saving” which it says “highlights that many are bewildered and confused about the choices that face them”.

Its research found that 36% of the working population are not saving enough – with 80% of those not saving at all.

Last week pensions minister Andrew Smith said the ABI had been chosen by the government to lead the team of organisations that will produce a new information pack for employers and employees on pensions and the workplace.

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