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TUC Pensions Conference: fair pensions for all
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Event details
Mon, 15 Mar 2021 - 13:00 to
Thu, 18 Mar 2021 - 15:00

 TUC Pensions Conference: 15th March-18th March

The TUC pensions conference is an opportunity for trade union reps, people in the pensions sector and anyone interested in pensions policy to learn about and debate the latest developments in this area.

This year's conference will be held online over four days. Each day will feature a single webinar exploring a key topic:

  • Investing in a just transition to a low carbon economy
  • Extending workplace pensions coverage to those workers currently excluded
  • Ensuring more workers can benefit from collective pension schemes
  • Rethinking the balance between state and workplace pensions to tackle poverty and inequality in old age

Speakers include:

Guy Opperman, pensions minister; Jonathan Reynolds, shadow secretary of state; Paul Nowak, TUC; Dr Bernhard Ebbinghaus, university of Oxford; Diandra Soobiah, NEST; Terry Pullinger, Communication Workers Union; Chris Roberts, Canadian Labour Congress; Katarzyna Szwarc, LSE Grantham Research Institute; Chris Curry, Pensions Policy Institute; Cara Pacitti, Resolution Foundation; Richard Hardy, Just Transition Commission Scotland; Tom Harrington, Greater Manchester Pension Fund; Joe Anderton, Prospect

Find more information and register

Day 1: Monday 15th March

13:00-14:40 - Investing in a just transition

As investors, pension funds have a major role in the move to a low-carbon economy. So how can we make sure they use this position to ensure we have a just transition, with the workers and communities most affected at its heart?

Opening keynote

- Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion

Panel debate

- Paul Nowak, deputy general secretary, TUC

- Diandra Soobiah, head of responsible investment, NEST

- Tom Harrington, assistant director (investments), Greater Manchester Pension Fund

- Katarzyna Szwarc, policy fellow, LSE Grantham Research Institute

- Richard Hardy, national secretary for Scotland and Ireland, Prospect/Just Transition Commissioner Scotland

Day 2: Tuesday 16th March

13:00-14:00 - Fixing the holes in auto-enrolment

Auto enrolment has brought millions of people into workplace pensions. But millions more are still excluded, and too many of those who are auto-enrolled are not building up enough pension to maintain living standards in retirement. This session will explore who's falling through the gaps, what impact Covid-19 has had, and how we can make sure auto-enrolment delivers decent pensions for all.

-Josephine Cumbo, global pensions correspondent, Financial Times (Chair)

- Chris Curry, director, Pensions Policy Institute 

- Joe Anderton, pension officer, Prospect

- Cara Pacitti, economist, Resolution Foundation

Day 3: Wednesday 17th March

13:00-14:00 – Making a success of collective DC

Thanks to the hard work of the Communication Workers Union, the Royal Mail is preparing to introduce the UK's first collective defined contribution pension scheme. By pooling investments and sharing risk, these arrangements can deliver more generous and stable retirement incomes than individual DC. So how can more employers be encouraged to offer CDC, and what can we learn from Canada, where unions have been involved in running this kind of scheme for decades?

-Lauren Wilkinson, senior policy researcher, PPI (chair))

- Terry Pullinger, deputy general secretary (postal) CWU

- Chris Roberts, director of social and economic policy, Canadian Labour Congress 

- Shriti Jadav, director, Willis Towers Watson 

- Julian Barker, head of CDC pensions policy, DWP

Day 4: Thursday 18th March

13:00-14:40 - Rethinking the role of the state pension

The UK provides a significantly lower state pension than most comparable countries and relies more heavily on occupational pensions to provide retirement incomes for its citizens. Our system is deeply ingrained and has its merits, but is it time to rethink this balance? Would a bigger role for the state pension reduce pensioner poverty and inequality?

Panel debate

- Dr Bernhard Ebbinghaus, Professor of Social Policy, University of Oxford 

- Kate Bell, head of rights, international, social and economic policy, TUC (chair)

- Nathalie Diesbecq, ACV-CSC (Christian Federation of Trade Unions, Belgium)

Closing keynote

- Jonathan Reynolds, shadow secretary of state for work and pensions

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