UK - Trade unionists have attacked the appointment of Merrill Lynch vice-chairman Adair Turner as head of a commission on pensions and savings.
The independent commission has been given the remit to review whether the current voluntary approach to pensions and long-term savings is working.
But GMB union senior official Paul Kenny believes that as Merrill Lynch has a direct interest in getting people to save more via the City and equity markets, Turner will promote these “vested” interests.
He said: “For Adair Turner to have the cheek to serve as the chair of the commission is frankly unbelievable. It is the equivalent of Dracula being put in charge of a blood bank.
“Workers have had enough advice and guidance from these self-seeking, axe-grinding, greedy, discredited fat cats who played a fundamental role in creating the pensions crisis in the first place.”
And TUC general secretary elect Brendan Barber called for union representation on the commission.
“It would be extraordinary if there was no trade unionist appointed to the commission on pensions. Unions are the only bodies able to represent people at work whatever their pension arrangements.”
But J. Sainsbury Pension & Death Benefit Scheme pension manager Geof Pearson was less concerned.
He said: “The jury is out on whether or not the right guy has been appointed to head the commission.
“The commission may be a bunch of Draculas as far as the GMB is concerned but it’s not the person who does the report that counts, but what the contents of the report are.”
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