What a piece of GOOD news for all the people whose lives have been blighted by this terrible pension scandal. The good news comes in this Reuters report (Lost pension rescue scheme boosted ) of a government announcement to-day (Monday December 17th)
The Reuters report says:-
The government announced more help on Monday for 141,000 people who lost their pensions when their company schemes were wound up.
Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain said a state-backed fund will be boosted by 935 million pounds to guarantee 90 percent of the value of the pensions.
Hain said the improvements represent “a generous and appropriate final settlement” for workers who had lost their pensions through no fault of their own.
Congratulations Peter for sorting this one, if the fine print shows that it is indeed sorted! Excuse my skepticism but sometimes government announcements have more flimflam than substance! in this case the scheme seems to offer:-
- 90% of expected pension, subject to £26,000 cap
- Payment from scheme pension age, subject to lower limit of 60
- Some inflation protection
- A tax-free lump sum where the scheme allows it
- The ability to request an early payout on ill-health grounds
So that looks to be going a long way to sorting out the problem. Let’s hope that the scheme has enough flexibility to take care of all those involved.
Now… what needs to happen next?
Well… I reckon that the managing directors of those companies who stole this money from these ordinary people need to see the inside of a jail cell for 10 or 20 years, their personal assets need to be seized as the proceeds of criminal activities and they need to be left scraping a living when they do get out of jail and not swanning off to sun kissed beaches with blonde bimbos hanging on their arms. That way other companies might be a little more careful with employees’ money.
While we’re at it some heads need to roll in the government departments tasked with looking after these schemes… someone was supposed to be keeping an eye on these financial operations. Since those people seem to have been flaming blind there is NO point in keeping them in jobs, is there? Fire them right away.
Now Peter… have you the clout to sort this out as well? No? Good grief man … did your stint in Northern Ireland teach you so little about getting to grips with crime and punishment!