Union Pension Services provides a full range of services to trade unions on issues related to occupational pension schemes. This covers not only the actuarial but also the financial, legal, investment, negotiating and administrative aspects of securing a decent pension. The aim is to offer a service which supports and strengthens the services already provided by unions for their members, with the objective of providing high quality occupational pension provision.
At one time or another since 1989 most UK trade unions have sought help and assistance from Union Pension Services, while a number have done so on a regular basis.
Help and advice have been provided for unions on a whole spectrum of issues ranging from collective bargaining to members' individual pension problems, whereever members look to their union for specialist help. For example:
We also provide regular support for normal negotiations, for example:
- scrutiny of proposals for employer refunds;
- protecting the pension rights of members when their employer is involved in a takeover or merger;
- securing members interests when threatened with the scheme being wound-up or converted to inferior benefits; and
- securing full disclosure where employers provide insufficient information.
- back-up for negotiations on scheme benefits and analysing employers' proposals;
- cross industry comparisons of pension provision; and
- proposals for dealing with scheme deficiencies.
Unions are not always able to provide such a service from within their own resources.
The first problem they face is the pressure under which they have to work and the shortage of resources
available to meet the demands placed upon them. The second problem is that the professional experts
who provide the advice needed to run a scheme generally work for the employer.
This means that the scheme members and their unions are all too often excluded from a
full understanding of what is happening.
The third problem is the increasingly complex legislative and regulatory framework
governing the provision of pensions.
Working out the solution to a pensions' issue can hinge on complex legal and
actuarial knowledge which is not available to trade unions in-house.
Finding the advice from a range of professionals with little knowledge of the trade union movement,
can often prove costly, complex and inefficient.
Union Pension Services addresses all these problems. It provides a straightforward and cost effective way
of obtaining the information and advice which trade unions require to secure the pension rights of their members.
It is a difficult time for occupational pension schemes and many trade unions recognise the advantages of obtaining
support from outside sources and the advantages of readily available specialist expertise
when it is needed. The use of Union Pension Services means that union officials and lay representatives
can concentrate their efforts on the key issues involved in pensions,
knowing that they have the necessary technical back-up.
Union Pension Services is professional in its approach and draws on considerable practical experience
on both sides of industry. It is provided exclusively for trade union clients,
with the interests of scheme members being paramount.