Ex-ministers call for workers to get fairer pension compensation

Former Minister Ros Altmann
Former Minister Ros Altmann

Two former pensions ministers have urged the Government to press ahead with plans to give fairer pension compensation to the staff of failed firms.

Ros Altmann, who left the Government last week, said there is “no justification for delays to regulations for loyal, long-serving pensioners”.

She said that for each week the changes are not in place, some pensioners are losing hundreds of pounds that they can never get back.

Steve Webb, who held the role of pensions minister immediately before Baroness Altmann, also said the Government should now “get on with implementing this change”.

Lady Altmann had been working to get measures ready before the summer recess which would help some pensioners get fairer payments from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), by increasing a cap on the payments people are allowed to receive.

She said the regulations should be announced before Parliament rises for the summer, adding: “They are ready now, so they should be introduced immediately”.

The PPF acts as a lifeboat for pension savers by paying compensation to members of defined benefit (DB) pension schemes - such as final salary pensions - when firms have failed. Lady Altmann said the cap as it stands can result in long-serving staff losing most of their promised pension.

Mr Webb had laid the foundations for the changes to happen, with legislation giving the Government powers to change the cap with regulations.