8 July 2020
RMT Press Office:
In Seafarer Awareness Week RMT Demands Pension Justice for Maritime Workers
In the week when we acknowledge the courageous work of our seafarers, who continue to provide a service to the UK during the COVID-19 crisis, seafarers' union RMT has produced evidence that shipping employers are providing maritime workers with inadequate occupational pension provision when it comes to their obligation to assist their employees with their retirement expectations.
RMT also has evidence that some of these employers are exploiting foreign seafarers on certain shipping routes by failing to auto-enrol these workers into a qualifying occupational pension scheme which the union says is just another in a long list of employment scandals in the UK shipping industry.
Following a recent survey carried out by RMT the union has discovered that some shipping employers will often have two pension schemes but they will deliberately auto-enrol their employees into the pension scheme with the lower employer contribution rate and lower benefits such as life cover.
Analysis of the findings of RMT's survey shows that it is clear that many maritime members are being kept completely in the dark when it comes to pensions which has led to a higher number then usual opting out of their employers pension scheme. This is not acceptable practice and something this union intends to campaign strongly around.
RMT has already begun a maritime pensions campaign which aims to educate, support and provide pension resources to our representatives so that they can raise the profile of pensions with union members.
RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary, Mick Lynch said:
“Where we find that employers are failing in their statutory obligations to auto-enrol workers into a pension scheme we will not hesitate to report these employers to the Pensions Regulator, which we have done on three occasions so far.
"Pensions are a key part of our members terms and conditions and it is an absolute RMT priority to improve our members retirement expectations across the whole of the maritime industry by challenging those employers who think it is acceptable to offer their employees inadequate pension provision.”