Developing Pension Capacity

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2016 Energy Service Group Conference
1 March 2016

Conference notes that defined benefit (DB) pension provision in the sector has been in decline. The closing of DB schemes and replacing them with defined contribution (DC) has in many cases been to the clear detriment of our members.

Conference welcomes efforts already made to support pension developments within energy employers more actively and to seek to build greater understanding of key issues, develop closer links with trustees, expose transactional costs and build capacity around DC schemes, including the use of hybrid schemes.

Conference therefore asks the Energy Service Group Executive to:

1)Campaign among members to explain the issues around defined contribution schemes including its weaknesses, particularly in relation to charges and fees and, in doing so, to also develop a DC pension toolkit which branches and activists can use.

2)encourage members to consider becoming trustees of workplace pension schemes and develop networks to support them in this role.

3)Place pension fund costs and charges on to the bargaining agenda with employers via the work at Sector Committee level to improve outcomes for members by seeking improvements to DC schemes, the restoration of DB provision or consideration of alternative hybrid schemes

4)Campaign alongside others within the union for the creation of an industry Common Investment Vehicle to improve pension fund investment performance and lower costs to sponsors

5)Promote the UNISON Capital Stewardship programme amongst members and branches.