Workers whose company pension schemes went bust, and who were within three years of the pension age of the scheme on 14 May 2004, are to receive a top-up to 80% of their pension from the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).
The government has committed £400m of public money over 20 years to the FAS. It will offer help to some people who have lost out on their occupational pension because their scheme was under-funded when it was wound up, prior to the creation of the Pension Protection Fund last year.
Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks said the money will be paid as a top-up pension rather through the purchase of an annuity.
Wicks said that workers who were only a few years from retirement when their company schemes folded had been hit hardest – losing both their jobs and their pensions with little chance to start again.
“We urgently needed to give these people peace of mind by making their position clear, and today we are doing so, by announcing through FAS they will now get 80% of the core pension benefits for life,” he said.
At present there are at least 380 schemes where members may be eligible for assistance but schemes who may still consider themselves as potentially eligible can contact the Department for Work and Pensions.
Public enquiries: 020 7712 2171