Issue date
01 Feb 2017

There is insufficient evidence to suggest that older people’s pensions are weighing on the wages or pension benefits of young workers, says a new briefing published by the TUC today (Wednesday).

The paper on intergenerational inequality –Talkin’ ‘bout my generation – published to coincide with the TUC’s annual pension conference in London today – says that:

  • Changes to the labour market – rather than pensions for older workers – have placed young people at the sharp end of falling pay, rising insecurity and poor retirement provision.
  • Pitting different generations against each other is unhelpful and divisive and risks the wider characteristics and causes of inequality being overlooked.
  • A greater role for unions has a proven impact in reducing inequality.

The report calls on ministers to ensure increased pension provision across the board – rather than focusing on the distribution of an inadequate pool of retirement savings between different generations.

Speaking ahead of the conference at Congress House today, TUC Assistant General Secretary Paul Nowak said:

“Many young workers are unable to save for a pension because they’re stuck in low-paid, insecure work.

“But we are not going to fix this problem by pitting them against older people. Let’s not forget that 1.5 million pensioners live in poverty – and most of them are women.

“All generations deserve fair pay during their working lives and a decent standard of living in retirement. We must focus on the wider causes of inequality to improve pensions across the board.”


Notes to Editors:
Talkin’ ‘bout my generation: a TUC briefing on intergenerational issues is available at
- The annual TUC Pensions Conference will take place at Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LS today (Wednesday) from 9.30am-5pm. The title for this year’s conference is People and pensions: a decent retirement for all.
- The event is free to all attendees. However, prior registration is required. To register, go to:
Additional media credentials are not necessary, but please use the ‘work information’ section of the registration form to indicate that you are a journalist.
- There will be keynote speeches from Pensions Minister Richard Harrington, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams, John Cridland, former CBI chief and head of the independent review of state pension age, and John Kay, economist and writer.
- Other speakers and panellists include: Janette Weir, director of research consultancy Ignition House; Hilary Salt, founder of First Actuarial; Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK; Sir Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister; Ian Baines, pensions director at Nationwide Building Society; Naomi Cooke, assistant general secretary of the FDA; and Daniela Silcock, head of policy research at the Pensions Policy Institute think tank.
- All TUC press releases can be found at
- TUC Press Office on Twitter: @tucnews