UK - Scheme members who have lost pension savings when their firms failed could be compensated several times over if the government tackled benefit fraud, funds claim.
The government has offered £400m over 20 years to help around 60,000 workers who have lost up to 90% of their pension savings.
Critics, though, say the figure is far too low as it will provide pensions of less than £350 a year to those affected while the industry is concerned about a possible levy on sponsoring employers to help fund the scheme.
But the National Association of Pension Funds claims the government would have more than enough money to compensate workers such as those from ASW and Dexion, if it tackled benefit fraud.
According to estimates from the National Audit Office, the department for work and pensions spends around £100bn a year on welfare benefits, representing more than a quarter of central government expenditure.
At least £2bn is lost every year through fraudulent income support, jobseeker allowance and housing benefit claims. The DWP wants to cut fraud and error on income support and jobseeker allowance claims by 50%, and on housing benefit by 25% by 2006.
An NAPF spokesman said: “The comparison with the amount lost through ineligible benefit payments demonstrates how relatively easy it would be for the government to find the funds to offer those pension victims the security they justly deserve.”
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