'Slap in the face'

Clarion Housing group pushing workers into poverty when they retire

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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