Pension worry biggest for women, says TUC

pension worries

pension worriesMany of us are worried about what the future holds for our pensions. But according to union leaders at the TUC, women could be hardest hit - in fact, they say nearly two million could be adversely affected by plans to automatically enrol workers into pension schemes.

They claim plans to increase the income tax threshold to £10,000 and link that to pensions could eventually stop 1.8 million women from being auto-enrolled into pensions.

Because of this ministers should keep the £7,475 earnings level at which auto-enrolment is triggered, they say.

More than one in seven female workers earns more than the lower earnings band, but under £10,000, said the TUC.

Auto-enrolment will start in October, when larger firms will have to start automatically putting eligible employees into pension schemes unless they specifically say they don't want to be included.

General secretary Brendan Barber said: "Auto-enrolment is a huge advance, but no one can pretend that contributions are good enough, particularly during the long wait before every company is covered by auto-enrolment and the two years after that before everyone gets their full contribution."

He went on: "In particular we urge the Government not to raise the auto-enrolment earnings trigger in line with the income tax threshold, which the coalition is keen to raise to £10,000.

"Whether this is the best way to help the low-paid is an interesting debate, but it would be disastrous if it had the unintended consequence of excluding a significant proportion of women workers from pensions saving."

Here, independent financial planner Henrietta Oxlade attempts to dispel some common myths around the state pension.