Age UK partners L&G to launch pension project nationwide

EXCLUSIVE: Age UK has partnered Legal and General to roll out its Living on the state pension project to employers across the UK.

The pension provider worked with Age UK to complete the project in 2012, challenging volunteer employees to try to live off the state pension. For every employee who completed the challenge, Legal and General donated £70 to Age UK.

Rosemary Lemon, group head of reward and executive remuneration at Legal and General, said: “When we did the challenge last year, the whole aim was to get employees much more engaged in the importance of saving for retirement.

“This was a real way to see what it could be like, or what it potentially could be like, if they didn’t save enough.”

The second year of the challenge will be launched on 1 October to coincide with International Older People’s Week. Sophie Down, corporate partnerships manager at Age UK, said: “We are hopeful that the 2013 challenge will be bigger and will grow on last year’s success.

“It is the same challenge as in 2012. All employees who sign up to participate will be living on an amount of £75 for a week, which is basically the state pension with things like rent and bills stripped out.”

Down said that the initiative can appeal to organisations in a variety of ways. She added: “There is the employee focus, particularly with auto-enrolment either recently coming in or being on the horizon.

“There will be organisations that already support Age UK and would see this as a unique way of fundraising for us. Other employers might be interested in how this can benefit the business, in terms of awareness and the issues that older people are facing, particularly when they are living on a limited budget.

“I think we’ll see quite a mix of employers coming into it with different motivations for doing it.”

The two organisations will host a breakfast briefing for interested employers on 3 September. They will also host a formal launch on 1 October.

Lemon said: “It is an opportunity to help share what we did, in terms of the preparation, the questionnaires we used, and the blogging that we did, with other employers, so that they too can get some benefits with their employees gearing up to retirement and with auto-enrolment, but also to help Age UK with its work in helping older people.

“The idea is to get some of our employees who did it last year to talk to people and for everyone to learn more about the issues that Age UK is trying to tackle, and employers are trying to tackle as well.”

For more details or to participate in the scheme, contact Sophie Down at sophie.down@ageuk.org.uk or Rosemary Lemon at rosemary.lemon@group.landg.com