Government is helping those with lost pensions, claims minister

10-08-2006

The minister for pensions reform has denied claims that the government is failing to help thousands of people who have lost their pensions due to the collapse of their pension schemes.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme, James Purnell insisted that the government's Financial Assistance programme would help more than just a small amount of people in this position.

"We extended the scheme from helping about 15,000 people to now helping 40,000 people - that's about a third of the people affected," he stated.

However, he rejected the suggestion that the government should pay compensation as a result of changes it had made in legislation leading to trustees being unable to release money from bank accounts, and contributing to the collapse of pensions.

The pension schemes were non-governmental schemes which had gone bust due to underfunding, he argued, and were promises made by employers, not the government.

Parliamentary ombudsman, Ann Abraham, found the government guilty of maladministration in relation to occupational pension schemes earlier in the year, a finding which it rejected, but which was supported by the Commons Public Administration Committee this week.



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