'Slap in the face'

Clarion Housing group pushing workers into poverty when they retire

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Commenting on reports that the UK’s largest housing association Clarion is to hike employee pension contributions to 22.9 per cent a year, Unite regional officer Matt Freeman said today, (February 21), “This is a slap in the face to the hundreds of workers who have worked hard and paid into the defined benefit scheme on the promise of a secure income for life. With this hike Clarion’s is pricing members out of a decent pension and worse into poverty when they retire.


“Clarion knows full well that a hike of this scale is basically closure by stealth as many members will simply be unable to afford the estimated £3,000 more a year it will take to stay in the scheme,” he added.


“While staff across the organisation face cuts to their pension, Clarion now employs 48 senior managers on £100,000 a year or more – an increase of 14 in a single year.


“It is even more unjust given that the burden is falling squarely on workers’ shoulders with Clarion – an organisation with an earned net surplus of £154m last year – not increasing it contributions by a single penny,” Freeman went on to say.


“Unite will continue to push for an end to the 7.5 per cent employer contributions cap which is far from generous for such a financially strong organisation.


“This will enable Clarion’s management to contribute more to their hardworking employees’ final pension pot.”


According to Unite, an employee earning £30,000 a year would have to contribute an additional £245 a month to stay in the group’s defined benefit scheme.

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