Stephen McCord

"Platinum has a deep understanding of the needs of teachers and their pensions."

I’m Steven McCord, and I’m the Deputy General Secretary of the Ulster Teachers’ Union.

The Ulster Teachers’ Union has been working with Platinum for many years – I’m going to say 12 to 15 years. The service that Platinum gives to our members is first class because they answer questions about retirement.

As a union, pensions are a very complicated matter, and they’re also very individual. So, when members come to us, they have different circumstances, including breaks in service and maternity times, and having somebody who understands pensions is so worthwhile for us as an organisation. It means that Platinum can answer those questions that we sometimes couldn’t.

Over the course of a year, we have between six and seven webinars for the teachers’ union and the INTO members.

Our members gain from attending webinars because they can attend them at their school or home, which means that they can do it in their own time and save time by not having to travel to a local venue.

Having spoken to some of our members, attending the webinar is great; it gives them information and insight about retirement, but that one-to-one is so important because it’s tailored and suits the member and their circumstances, and it’s really important that our members get that.

The best bit of feedback that I’ve heard from one of our members with regard to Platinum is how supportive they were of the member and those circumstances, ensuring that they had a pathway for retirement.

It’s really important that we are working with Platinum; they understand not only teachers, but they understand our local teachers and their circumstances, and we find that it’s really worthwhile having somebody local in Belfast dealing with local teachers.

The best thing about working with Platinum is that they understand teachers and teachers’ pensions.

Absolutely, the Ulster Teachers’ Union would recommend Platinum; we have done so in the past, and we have been able to share our experiences with INTO and other teaching trade unions here.

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