UK - Rows over who will pay the costs of the government's Pension Protection Fund have broken out across the industry.
And a roundtable at the recent Pension Show between Conservative work and pensions spokesman David Willetts, independent government adviser Ros Altmann and Amicus head of pensions Julian Richards was a microcosm of that debate.
While many of the delegates felt a protection fund was necessary, there was disagreement over how it should be financed.
It is understood that all final salary schemes will be required to pay a levy based on their membership, but it is unclear whether this burden could be passed on to staff.
Independent government adviser Ros Altmann said: “It is not unreasonable to allow employers to pass on some of the cost to staff.”
But she added firms should only pass on the fixed rate part of any PPF premium – as the level of scheme funding was beyond the employees’ control.
Willetts agreed “in principle” that both employers and employees should pay premiums for the PPF, but said he was “deeply concerned” over the impact of such a move on business – particularly on firms that had pension schemes which were larger than their sponsor.
Richards disagreed with Altmann and Willetts.
He said it was unfair to make staff pay for this protection. “Schemes should pay, employers should underwrite it and government should take a bigger role.”
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