UK - The Conservatives may try to amend the Pensions Bill to give workers retrospective compensation, said Party leader Michael Howard (pictured).
Howard sent an open letter in response to criticism from Pensions Action Group spokesman John Hayter over problems caused by legislation introduced by the previous Conservative government.
PAG has also been a vociferous critic of the present government and its failure to help workers who lost the majority of their pension savings when their schemes’ sponsoring employers collapsed.
More than 60,000 people – including those at Allied Steel & Wire, Dexion, Perivan and United Engineering Forgings – have been affected.
Howard says he has “enormous sympathy” for people who lost their benefits when their employers have gone bankrupt.
Howard added that the Conservatives were currently drafting their pensions policies, and as part of that process, it was examining ways of compensating workers who had lost their pensions through scheme wind-ups.
The letter says: “As a serious and responsible Opposition and government in waiting, we must explore all the possible avenues and ensure our policy…is effective and workable.”
Conservative work and pensions spokesman David Willetts renewed pressure on ministers to find a “fair solution” to the problem in parliament on Tuesday.
Willetts – speaking ahead of the debate – said: “The government should establish how many people have lost their pension and how much has been lost.”
And he reiterated calls to support a Private Member’s Bill by Labour MP Frank Field to fund compensation from the estimated £15bn of unclaimed assets lying in bank and building society accounts.
In this week's Pensions Buzz, we want to know whether you think a contract-based, trust-based or a master trust arrangement would be best for a new defined contribution scheme.
The £28bn Brunel Pension Partnership has opened a tender for active equity managers to oversee around £1.8bn of the pool's assets.
RPMI Railpen has injected £7m of new equity into full-fibre internet service provider, Community Fibre.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is to prosecute Samuel Smith Old Brewery and chairman Humphrey Smith for failing to provide information and documents for an ongoing investigation.