From education to employment

Minister Stephen Timms Emphasises Importance of Financial Information for Retirees

The Minister of State for Pension Reform, Stephen Timms MP, has announced the organisations that have been awarded funding for projects from the Pensions Education Fund.

Mr. Timms praised the organisations that had tendered projects for consideration, extholling the virtues of the innovative and dynamic projects that were the eventual winners. Mr. Timms also emphasised that information was the best weapon with which to fight the fear often felt by those approaching retirement. He states that increased access to financial information and education is crucial in helping people make confident choices about their retirement, and sees this funding award as a major step in this battle.

Educated Decisions

The Pensions Education Fund works towards a common goal from a number of different standpoints, unifying the work of the public sector, trade unions, voluntary and community groups. This cooperation provides information and support to working people helping them to make educated and well considerd choices about their retirement.

The Fund was established in 2004, previously titled the Pensions Challenge Fund. Trade unions, charities, trade associations and other not-for-profit organisations applied for consideration in 2005, with applications being considered by a panel from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in conjunction with external adivsers.

Amongst the successful initiatives are interactive websites, recruiting pensions education officers and a series of events designed to engage with workers. The winners include the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Community Union, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Toynbee Hall, the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) and Age Concern.

Ministerial Commitment

The Minister of State for Pension Reform Stephen Timms MP said: “At least three million people in the UK are not saving enough for their retirement. The Pensions Education Fund was set up to support organisations with innovative ideas about how to help working people actively plan for their retirement.”

The funding will run through for initiatives up until March 2008. Mr. Timms continued: “Financial education is very important in ensuring that people can make confident choices about their financial future. The organisations that have made successful applications to the Pensions Education Fund will have an important role to play in providing trusted and impartial information to working people.”

Jethro Marsh

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