Minister praises trio of big businesses for their staff pensions | Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association

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Minister praises trio of big businesses for their staff pensions

20 October 2011

Pensions Minister Steve Webb congratulated three major UK employers for their staff pension, and for achieving a top mark of pensions excellence.

The Pension Quality Mark (PQM) PLUS was given to the international oil and gas company TOTAL E&P UK Limited, homebuilder Taylor Wimpey and to global aerospace, defence and security leader Finmeccanica at the National Association of Pension Funds’ (NAPF) Annual Conference in Manchester, before an audience of over a thousand of pensions professionals.

The PQM PLUS standard is given to those employers who provide an outstanding defined contribution (DC) pension to staff, with employer contributions of at least 10 per cent.

Steve Webb, Pensions Minister, said:

“It is really good to see schemes like these setting the example and offering a good quality standard of pension for their employees, especially in these quite difficult times.

“I hope that come automatic enrolment we will see even more companies awarded the Pension Quality Mark, as we get millions more saving into workplace pensions.”

Joanne Segars, Chief Executive of the NAPF, said:

“We are living at a time of deep economic uncertainty and many businesses are under great financial pressure. But these schemes receiving the PQM show that employers understand the importance of providing good quality pensions to their staff.

“We are delighted that the Pension Minister has presented TOTAL E&P UK Limited, Taylor Wimpey and Finmeccanica with our top mark of excellence.

“We encourage more employers to offer pensions like these, with this level of contribution, to help people build a decent income for retirement.

“From next year new reforms will see people automatically enrolled into a pension. These changes are set to make 5-9 million people save into a pension for the first time. But they are just a first step to get our country saving more.

“The Pension Quality Mark is our way of encouraging employers to go beyond the statutory minimum of 3% required by auto-enrolment. We hope that it will continue to help drive standards of pensions provision higher. With household names like these coming on board, we have every confidence it will.”

The Pension Quality Mark (PQM) was launched by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) in September 2009. Over 125 schemes now qualify and 250,000 scheme members are now covered by schemes that carry the Mark. There are two standards, PQM and PQM PLUS. PQM PLUS is the superior standard, which recognises DC schemes whose total contributions are of at least 15 per cent, with a minimum employer contribution of 10 per cent.

Notes to editors:

  1. Photographs of Steve Webb giving the PQM PLUS will be available.
  2. PQM recognises DC schemes whose total contributions are of at least 10 per cent, with a minimum employer contribution of 6 per cent. For further details on the Pension Quality Mark & the Friend of the Pension Quality Mark initiative: http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/ and http://www.pensionqualitymark.org.uk/friendofpqm.php
  3. Aberdeen-based TOTAL E&P UK Limited is a leading oil and gas operator on the UK Continental Shelf. Employing 850 staff, its portfolio includes operatorship of the Alwyn Area fields, the Elgin/Franklin fields and the St Fergus Gas Terminal, plus a number of non-operated fields. It is currently investing £2.5bn on developing its Laggan and Tormore gas fields in the region West of Shetland. More information is available on www.uk.total.com.
  4. Taylor Wimpey is a residential developer, which employs approximately 3,500 people in its operations in the UK and Spain. We aim to be the leading residential developer for creating value and delivering quality. Taylor Wimpey is a responsible developer, which is committed to health and safety, providing excellent customer care, engaging with local communities, promoting environmental sustainability and encouraging innovative design. For further information please visit www.taylorwimpey.co.uk
  5. Finmeccanica is the second largest defence manufacturer in the UK, employing 9,500 people at six major sites across the country. The UK operating companies include: AgustaWestland, which designs, develops, produces and supports civil and military helicopters; SELEX Galileo, a leading provider of defence electronics systems; SELEX Elsag, specialising in secure networked communications; and SELEX Systems Integration, a prime contracting and systems integration business. Finmeccanica has invested nearly £2bn in the UK since 2005 and is the largest overseas investor in the UK defence sector. It is also the third largest exporter of defence products from the UK and invests about £200 million in R&D in the UK. For further information please visit www.finmeccanica.co.uk
  6. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,200 pension schemes with some 15 million members and assets of around £800 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.

Contacts:

Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683. [email protected]

Christian Zarro, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]