UK - Protests by workers who lost their pension savings when their firms collapsed brought traffic in central London to a standstill on Saturday afternoon.
Up to 200 former Allied Steel and Wire, Dexion, Kalamazoo, Samuel Jones and UEF scheme members – many of whom have lost up to 80% of their pension pots – stopped traffic for half an hour at the junction between Oxford Street and Regent Street as they rallied to call for compensation.
Although the demonstration ended peacefully, ASW Sheerness Steel member Andrew Parr said the scheme members were still “willing and prepared” to be arrested to draw attention to their plight.
He added that ministers should compensate workers who had trusted advice from the government and other organisations – such as the National Association of Pension Funds – and had then seen their savings disappear.
Parr said: “Everything is collapsing around our ears. We’ve been hoodwinked. With any other financial product if something goes wrong you get compensation. The government has a moral obligation to pay up.”
Pensions Action Group spokesman John Hayter said: “If you’ve been robbed as we have, what would you do? We are victims of flawed legislation and that’s why we’re seeking compensation.”
A department for work and pensions spokeswoman said: “We’re considering workable solutions. But it is not as simple as just compensating them.”
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