L&G employees take on the Age UK Pension Challenge
Published on 03 October 2013 04:30 PM
Volunteers at Legal & General mark Older People's Day by living on a budget equivalent to that of a pensioner on a state pension.
This week employees at Legal & General are celebrating International Older People's Day by partnering with Age UK to deliver the Pension Challenge 2013.
The challenge will see 150 Legal & General staff at various locations across the UK scale down their lifestyles for a week and live on a budget equivalent to that of a pensioner living on a state pension.
The money raised will provide vital funds for Age UK and allow employees at Legal & General to gain a brief insight into the importance of planning for their own futures and understand the pressures their older customers experience.
12m at risk of inadequate retirement incomes
With the latest government figures showing that 12 million people remain at risk of inadequate retirement incomes, it is more important than ever to plan ahead for retirement and save as much as possible, as early as possible, to ensure a comfortable later life.
Members of the board and employees at Legal & General will live on a budget that has to cover food, socialising and any personal costs such as hairdressing, personal care and toiletries reflecting what life could be like if they fail to build up a private pension pot.
They will be writing a daily blog to reflect upon their experiences and what this means for customers.
The Age UK pension challenge kicked off on 1 October to coincide with Older People's Day, celebrating the contribution older people make to society.
It is the second year Legal & General has taken on the challenge, which was the brainchild of Rosemary Lemon, Legal & General's Head of Remuneration. In 2012, 140 willing employees took part and raised a fantastic £17,000 for Age UK.
Sophie Down, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Age UK, said: ‘We're delighted that Legal & General has chosen to take up the Pension Challenge for a second year. It's an opportunity to put yourself into an older person's shoes for the week and get a brief glimpse into what it's like to manage everyday living costs on a typical state pension.
‘What of course the people taking part won't be able to fully appreciate is how difficult it can be for older people to deal with unexpected emergency expenditure - when the boiler breaks down, when the toilet develops a leak - and also the long term issues with living on a low and fixed budget.'
Graham Precey, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Ethics at Legal & General said: ‘In a typical year simply by doing business, Legal & General is responsible for paying the pensions of over 600,000 retired customers.
‘The Age UK Pension Challenge is a great way for our employees to put themselves in the shoes of our customers to understand what life would be like for them on a fixed income without the pensions that we provide for them. We are really pleased that 150 of our colleagues right across Legal & General are willing to take on the challenge.'
1.6m pensioners living in poverty
Age UK wants to raise awareness of how important it is to start preparing for retirement and make important financial decisions early.
With 1.6 million pensioners living in poverty in the UK - that's 14% of all older people - many are making difficult choices everyday about how to stretch out limited resources, particularly with the rising costs of basics like energy and food.
Currently one third of older people are failing to claim benefits such as Pension Credit that they are entitled to. Money raised through the programme will help Age UK to ensure that older people can access all the support and benefits that are available.
Any older person who is worried about money can visit their local Age UK, call our national Age UK Advice line on 0800 169 65 65 for free information and advice or visit our website www.ageuk.org.uk/letstalkmoney.
For more information on how your business can get involved in the Pension Challenge to support Age UK, please contact the Charity's Corporate Partnerships team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 169 8787 for more information.