Call on UNISON to press the TUC to lead campaign to improve the State Pension

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2011 Retired Members' Conference
20 June 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference is aware that Britain has one of the lowest state pensions in Europe and that 2.5 million older people are living below the poverty level. The trade union movement is understandably most concerned with improving occupational pensions, but the active support from UNISON and the Trades Union Congress is necessary for a successful campaign to improve the state pension.

Conference notes that, for many UNISON members and other trade unionists, the state pension is at least as big a component of their income in retirement as any works pension. Also, despite receiving small works pensions, many such retired members remain entitled to pension credit and other benefits.

Conference therefore believes that, to make sense to such members and to win their support, trades unions must integrate their campaigning on works pensions with that on the state pension and on benefits.

Conference therefore instructs the National Retired Members’ Committee to raise this with the National Executive Council with a view to:

1. Including calls for an improved state pension and less reliance on means tested benefits with current campaigns to defend works pensions;

2. Promoting UNISON’s policies of the state pension and opposing proposals in the government’s Green Paper; and

3. Raising these issues with the Trades Union Congress, the Scottish Trades Union Congress and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions with a call for a united trades union led campaign for decent works pensions for all and a decent state pension too.