TUC general secretary Brendan Barber says employer contribution pensions are damanging the morale of construction workers.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber today called for radical new thinking to solve the growing pensions crisis.

Speaking at Building's Network Club this morning Barber said there needed to be a new partnership between employers and employees to ensure pension provision would be adequate for construction workers. He said that the move from final salary pensions to employer's contributions pensions had led to a reduction in funds for workers and had done "real damage to the morale (of workers) and is storing up massive problems for the future".

Barber said: "We are arguing strongly to get a new framework for pensions that recognises a system where every employer plays a part and makes a contribution."

Barber added the problem was acute in construction given the high level of self employment in the sector. He said: "Self provision in penions is at best patchy across construction."

He said that the industry would be better placed to attract skilled workers and bid for public sector contracts if it offered better pension conditions. He said: "You can reap long-term rewards through better provision by attracting and retaining skilled staff in a competitive labour market. I also belief employment conditions will be increasingly scrutinised as part of public sector contracts."

The event, which took place at the Svaoy Hotel in central London, was sponsored by solicitor Fenwick Elliott. For details on future breakfast networking events see the events section of the site.