Commenting on reports that the UK’s largest housing association Clarion is to hike employee pension contributions by up to 22.9 per cent a year, Unite regional officer Matt Freeman said today (Friday 21 February):

“This is a slap in the face to the hundreds of workers who have worked hard and paid into the defined benefit schemes 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.

“While many 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 £154 million last year - not increasing it contributions by a single penny.

“Unite will continue to push for an end to the group-wide 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 final salary scheme.


For more information please contact Unite campaigns coordinator Chantal Chegrinec on 020 3371 2063 or 07774 146 777. Unite press office is on: 020 3371 2065. 

Note to editors:

Link to InsideHousing news story:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.