Unions are using stakeholder pensions as bait for getting recognition from firms, engineering union the AEEU admitted as it clinched a pensions agreement with over 800 firms in Scotland.
The stakeholder deal with Scottish electrical contracting firms will give 12,000 employees access to low-cost pensions. The AEEU set up the scheme last year with pension provider Friends Provident.
`When we discuss recognition with companies our stakeholder pension is a good bargaining tool,’ said a senior AEEU official. `The pension is fast becoming a central part of our recognition strategy.’
The union’s pension scheme is attractive to medium-sized firms with up to 200 staff, many of which do not offer pension provision for employees.
In May this year, Manchester-based Northpoint, a coatings manufacturer, recognised the AEEU and agreed to make pension contributions into the stakeholder scheme on behalf of its employees.
The AEEU said it expects to sign al least another dozen partnership deals by the end of the year.