The session began with an update from deputy general secretary Dai Hudd on recent pensions developments. Following a question and answer session, delegates were introduced to a range of pensions policy issues covering state pensions, defined benefit and defined contribution workplace pensions, governance and tax relief for pensions.
The relaxed nature of the event allowed for a well-informed and healthy discussion with delegates expressing preferences on what issues were of a higher priority for them.
There was a clear view that improving defined contribution pension schemes was of great importance. Older delegates gave a view of the necessity of ensuring generous pension provision for younger generations - dispelling the myth that there is intergenerational conflict on this issue.
Other areas that proved popular with delegates were campaigning for a fair state pension age, ensuring that promises on pensions are retained and working to develop innovative new types of risk-sharing pension schemes.
While the session will not replace the conference arena as the mechanism for making union policy, these areas will be discussed by the NEC’s Pensions Advisory Sub Committee in our ongoing work to ensure the best retirements possible for Prospect members.
PASC chair Audrey Uppington, said: “I was privileged to chair another successful break out session at this years conference. It was reassuring that despite the demographics of delegates there was a clear desire to ensure that our younger members have access to good quality pension provision.”
Dai added: “Again the pensions breakout session proved to be the most popular, with the actual numbers attending exceeding those that indicated an interest in attending.
“The range of issues discussed, clearly indicates that this topic is seen as a high priority for Prospect members.”