Pensions Action Group

Statement from Dr Ros Altmann
12th July 2007


Scheme wind-up victims are on the brink of victory in their campaign for compensation from the government, Ros Altmann has said.

The leading Pensions Action Group campaigner believes the House of Commons debate on the Pensions Bill next week will be key to PAG success.

A cross-party amendment to the Bill – which raises Financial Assistance Scheme payments to Pension Protection Fund levels – was successfully attached in the Lords. MPs will revisit the Bill on Tuesday when it returns to the House of Commons.

Altmann said: “It is crunch time for us know. If it doesn’t go through it will go back to the Lords. I have assurances from the Conservatives that it will continue to go backwards and forwards until it is settled.”

During his “summer statement” the prime minister said payments to scheme wind-up victims could be moved towards 90pc in the near future after the review of the assets of bankrupt companies and their pension funds.

Altmann said: “Brown has given us some more spin. Saying a move towards 90pc may happen is not enough – and 90pc of what exactly? The FAS pays out much much less than the members expected pension to start with.

“Why doesn’t the government just bite the bullet and stop this awful situation. It is killing confidence in pensions and causing awful suffering. Two more have died in the last three weeks – how many more have to die before the government sorts this out?”

She added: “It is fine to have a review and work out how to pay these people without the taxpayer footing the whole bill but do not make these people wait any longer.

“More than 10,000 people have passed the age of 65 and the FAS has not helped them. I am disappointed the new Labour administration has not grasped the urgency of this situation.”

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