Many employers, either individually or together with other employers in the same industry or sector, provide financial benefits in the form of a retirement pension for their employees. Occupational pensions normally operate on a contributory basis, with both employers and employees making contributions on a weekly or monthly basis into the pension fund. Employers are under no obligation to provide such pension schemes, and employees without an occupational pension will in any case be eligible for the normal state pension, once they reach state pension age and assuming they have made the required contributions. Occupational pension schemes can be used as a means of ensuring employee loyalty and improving retention rates, particularly where such schemes are non-transferable. Pension schemes are covered by the Anti-Discrimination Pay Act 1974, in that both the entitlement to contribute and the benefits received must be equal for men and women. The Pensions Act 1990 has developed this further.
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.