Uber launches first pension scheme for drivers

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

Uber has announced that it will start rolling out its pension plan to all eligible drivers in the UK. Drivers will be auto-enrolled in a pension scheme provided by NOW: Pensions, and managed by leading workplace solutions provider Adecco.

Uber will contribute 3% of a driver’s earnings into a pension pot, while drivers can choose to contribute a minimum of 5% of qualifying earnings. Eligible drivers will be able to opt-out of the pension scheme, if they choose.

The pension scheme will only cover Uber drivers, despite the fact that many also work with operators such as Bolt, Addison Lee and Ola. Uber is therefore extending an invitation to work with all operators to create a cross-industry pension scheme. This could be designed to allow drivers to save for their futures whilst working across multiple apps, so they can benefit no matter who they choose to drive with.

 

Jamie Heywood, Regional General Manager of Northern and Eastern Europe, Uber said: “We want to ensure that all eligible drivers can benefit no matter who they earn with, so today I am extending an invitation to work with operators such as Bolt, Addison Lee and Ola to create a cross-industry pension scheme.”

 

Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, said: “I applaud this launch, following on from the recent court case and the landmark agreement between Uber and GMB. It extends company-supported pension saving to a large new cohort of workers, including many in my constituency. I also welcome Uber’s call for a cross-sector approach to pension saving. The all-party Work and Pensions Select Committee has called on Ministers for a timetable for its promised Employment Bill, to improve protections for all gig-economy workers.”

 

Patrick Luthi, Chief Executive of NOW: Pensions said: “NOW: Pensions are proud to be selected as Uber’s pensions partner and play our part in delivering access to valuable pension benefits to their UK drivers. This is a landmark step forward for this sector and we pledge our support to develop a cross-industry pension scheme.  Furthermore, we want to help other industries provide their flexible workers with access to pensions as part of our mission to create a fair pension system for all.”

 

Alex Fleming, Regional President of Northern Europe at Adecco, said: “We are really pleased to be partnering with Uber on their pension scheme for flexible workers in the PHV industry. As the UK labour market continues to be redefined as a result of the global pandemic, the need for equitable treatment and greater security is integral to building back better and supporting flexible workers. This is an industry first that not only paves the way in improving workers’ rights and protections, but also contributes to sustainable futures for drivers.”

 

The launch of the new pension scheme follows the decision in March 2021 to treat all 70,000 UK drivers as workers, with the introduction of a minimum earnings guarantee and holiday pay. It also follows the historic trade union recognition deal with GMB. Together Uber and GMB Union jointly pledged to work together to raise the standards of work across the industry by calling on all operators to follow the law and also treat their drivers as workers.

 

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said: “Uber’s pension scheme is a massive step in the right direction and will no doubt help thousands of drivers as they reach retirement age. GMB urges other platform-based operators to follow Uber’s lead.”

 

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