Pensions victims call for more compensation cash

Victims of failed pension schemes have urged the government to provide more cash to properly compensate workers who have lost their retirement incomes.

Last year, the government set up a £400m fund to help these people, but the amount has been criticised as being inadequate.

Ministers say the 15,000 workers who were within three years of retirement in May 2004 will take priority when this money is distributed, and will get about 80% of their ‘core’ pension rights, up to a maximum of £12,000 a year. But other details remain sketchy.

A pensions summit at the House of Commons, chaired by Labour MP Sandra Osborne, was held to highlight demands for ministers to offer more money to the 65,000 workers who have lost some or all of their pensions after their employers went bust.

Independent pensions expert Ros Altmann told the workers: “The government is responsible for what has happened to you. This is cruelty beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

Union representatives and MPs from the three main political parties also spoke in favour of the campaign’s aims.

The summit was told that ministers had said there would be some survivors’ benefits paid out of the fund, but no further details were available.

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