UK - An independent audit on how much members are owed from wound-up schemes is being headed by the government's pensions adviser Ros Altmann (pictured).
The report – which is due to be published in April – will show the number of schemes that have been wound up and the number of members who have lost benefits since 1997.
Early estimates indicate some £4.5bn in benefits has been lost by more than 40,000 former scheme members, including those from Allied Steel and Wire, Dexion and UEF.
Altmann said the report would show the government much more clearly what it will cost to compensate scheme members “so they can plan for it”.
She added: “I think the government definitely will agree to compensate – it will have to for moral reasons. Some of these people will not have a decent lifestyle in retirement despite paying into a scheme for 40 years.”
Altmann, who is working with a confidential team of pensions experts to calculate the figures, said she was “disappointed” the government had turned down calls to conduct its own audit into scheme wind-ups.
Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb said: “Any report that clarifies the full extent of the situation faced by ASW workers is welcome.
“It is a pity the government couldn’t take the time to look into the situation more closely.”
A DWP spokeswoman said: “It would be inappropriate of us to give estimates at this time. It is difficult to obtain reliable data on this issue.”
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.