Pro Installer July 2016 - Issue 40 - Page 14

14 JULY 2016 PRO INSTALLER PRO NEWS Construction sector fails to build retirement pot Just 9% of people in the construction and property sector are financially on track for the retirement they aspire to have, unchanged from April 2015 and now lagging behind the UK average of 12%, according to new research from Aegon UK*. However, there is evidence that the pension freedoms introduced in April 2015, and initiatives like workplace auto-enrolment for employees are having the impact the government intended. One in seven (14%) construction and property professionals are saving more into their retirement pot as a direct result of the pension freedoms. Pension savers working in this industry, have also become more realistic about the retirement income they expect to receive. Average annual income expectations within this sector have fallen from £46,000 in April 2015, to £40,200 in the past twelve months. Despite these reasons for optimism, engagement levels remain low. Under a quarter (23%) have checked the performance of their retirement savings within the last six months, while 21% have taken steps to review their plans for retirement, trailing the UK average of 24% and 22%, respectively. These factors all contribute to the construction and property sector having an average readiness score of 54. Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon UK, comments: “As we enter an era of personal responsibility for retirement saving, it’s heartening to see the pension freedoms are having a positive effect on saving behaviour, with 14% saving more into their pensions in response to the freedoms, but this needs to be a lot higher if we’re to see real change. For people in the construction and property sector the pensions penny is yet to drop, with some of the lowest engagement levels. Workers in this sector need to revisit their retirement plans before it’s too late. “The stark reality is that 91% of workers are falling short of their retirement targets; targets which are themselves very stretching. In this sector there is a job to be done to lay solid foundations on which to build realistic retirement plans.” *Research sampled 175 people in construction and property professionals as part of a nationally representative sample of 3,890 people across the UK and was conducted by Watermelon Research between 29th February and 7th March 2016. NEW GENERATION OF M70 VEKA has launched the next generation of its Matrix 70 Window System, said to be even more energy efficient than its predecessors. Thanks to ongoing investment in the supplier’s PVCu systems, the M70 system has five chambers within the profile as well as its tried and tested steel reinforcements. MD Dave Jones said: “The VEKA UK Group constantly strives to update and improve our product range to ensure it is constantly evolving. We know that to maintain our position as the industry leader, our products have to be the best they can be. In our 30th year of UK manufacturing, we’re proud to have designed and launched the next generation of M70. ‘an updated contemporary bevel will complement any style of home’ “The new 2016 M70 is a fully-integrated, multi-chambered, bevelled 70mm system with steel reinforcement sections. Additional chambers have increased the thermal performance to meet the demanding current and future requirements for more energy-efficient p roducts, while an updated contemporary bevel will complement any style of home or commercial property.” The demand for bevelled systems within the commercial and social housing markets remains as strong as ever, with this style of profile accounting for the majority of installations in these sectors. The clean bevelled lines of the new M70 will also appeal to homeowners looking for contemporary aesthetics. During the design process of the new M70, VEKA also completely redesigned its bay pole system based on customer feedback. The new system is quicker and simpler to fabricate and faster to fit, while enhanced jacking poles provide easy access to allow for on-site adjustment. A choice of neat trim covers in plain or featured finishes offers excellent aesthetics for the homeowner, while minimising any risk of damage. South Kirkby-based VEKA fabricator Bennion and Sons Ltd was one of the very first companies to adopt the new system - and its director Sam Bennion said he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.