NOW: Pensions today announces that they have become an external partner of the BBC 50:50 Equality Project. It makes them the first and only workplace pension provider to sign up for the initiative that was started by the BBC to inspire and support organisations to consistently create journalism and media content that fairly represents our world.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2022, NOW: Pensions are pleased to pledge to continue to create content and campaigns that are pursuing gender equality and tackling the issues which most affect our members and reflect the society that we live in today.
50:50 The Equality Project
50:50 The Equality Project is committed to inspiring and supporting the BBC and organisations around the globe to consistently create content that fairly represents our world.
They have a simple system to effect long-lasting change on a large scale with no compromise on quality. They share detailed methodology and best practices to inspire other organisations to fully represent their audiences.
The 50:50 initiative started in the BBC’s London newsroom four years ago and uses a methodology that is rooted in data, creativity and practicality to fundamentally shift representation within the media. Since it started it has also been adopted by a global network of more than 135 partners in 29 countries. The initiative works with public broadcasters around the world, journalism schools, industry bodies and several large businesses in the UK to ensure gender balance in content, not just in the workforce.
Campaigning to close the gender pension savings gaps
The workplace pension provider, which currently manages £3 billion of UK pension savings has been campaigning to highlight the longer-lasting repercussions unequal pay may have on certain groups in the UK and their ability to save for the future.
NOW: Pensions research into underpensioned groups with the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) shows that some groups – including women, single mothers, people with disabilities, carers, ethnic minorities, the self-employed and multiple jobholders – are reaching retirement age with just 15% of the pension wealth of the UK average.
NOW: Pensions have been lobbying the government and campaigning for policy change following the requirement for UK businesses with 250+ employees to report their gender pay gap in 2017. Their policy proposals would help to get a further 3 million people saving for their retirement via automatic enrolment, generating over £1bn in annual pension contributions.
Miranda Holt, External Partners Lead for the BBC’s 50:50 Equality Project said: “We’re so excited that ‘NOW: Pensions’ is the latest large financial organisation to sign up to the 50:50 Project. They join 730 BBC Teams and 135 companies around the world who follow this simple way of counting data to effect change. By increasing the number of women featured in the content you create for your company, which reaches thousands of employers and millions of members from a wide range of industries, we better reflect the society we live in.”
Patrick Luthi, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “Being part of this initiative really is testament to the hard work we have done to highlight inequalities and campaigning for real change that delivers results. As one of the largest UK pension providers we are driven by our social purpose to help everyone save for a more financially secure future. We are committed to ensuring there is always a balance in the content we produce and remain dedicated in our work to create a UK pension system that is fair for all and making sure that all groups in society are given the same chance to save for their retirement.”
| Samantha Gould – NOW: Pensions|
NOW: Pensions’ plan for fair pensions for all
- Removal of the £10,000 auto-enrolment trigger to get more women into auto-enrolment
This would bring an additional 2.9 million women in pension saving.
- Auto enrolment contributions on every pound of earnings
Ensuring pension contributions are taken from the first £1 of earnings would increase pension wealth for these groups by an average of 30% – though for some groups such as single mothers this would increase by 152%.
- The introduction of a family carer’s top up
Women taking time out to care are compensated in the State Pension by State Pension credits, however, they miss out on auto enrolment. The family carer’s top up would see the government pay the equivalent of the employers’ contribution at National Living Wage level into women’s pensions who are taking time out to care. This would equate to approximately £820 per year and would boost pension outcomes for women who take 10 years out due to caring responsibilities and returns to the workforce full-time by 20%. The family carer top-up can close around half of the pension wealth gap created by taking time out of work to care for family.
- Divorce – make pension sharing the default
Ensuring that pension funds are always considered in divorce settlements – approximately 10% of men and 14% of women in their early 60s are divorced. The median pension wealth of divorced men and women by retirement is £103,500 and £26,100 respectively. These figures compared to the population indicate a pension wealth reduction of a third for men but a half for women, signifying a greater impact of divorce for women than men. Although pension pots can often be the second most valuable asset when people are going through a divorce, they are often overlooked, with people paying more attention to property assets. In 2018, there were 118,142 divorces but only 4,632 pension attachment orders were made by the family courts.
- Greater action on the availability and cost of childcare to enable those that want to return to work
Despite tax changes that help families with childcare costs, prices continue to rise. The Family and Childcare Trust reported in 2018 that childcare prices for children under three had risen above both inflation and wages in the previous year. Costs grew by 7% to £122 for 25 hours per week, equating to £6300 per year. Analysis of freedom of information request data by Insurer Royal London shows the high cost of childcare means working parents with toddlers pay more for childcare than their mortgage. A full-time nursery place for a child under two typically costs £1,065 a month, for example, while the average monthly mortgage repayment is £1,040 and the equivalent figure for renters is £833.
About NOW: Pensions
NOW: Pensions is an award-winning UK workplace pension provider. We look after the pension savings of tens of thousands of employers and millions of members from a wide range of industry sectors.
We have a clear mission – to help everyone save for a more financially secure future. This means achieving the best financial outcomes for our own members, while fighting for a fair pension system to enable all pension savers to enjoy the retirement they deserve. We do this by highlighting pension inequalities and campaigning for change.
We are the UK’s third largest auto enrolment pension provider by number of members.
NOW: Pensions is part of the Cardano Group, a market leader in providing risk and investment management services designed to make pensions outcomes more stable and robust.