I distributed the below press release on 7.02.07
LYNNE JONES MP JOINS PENSIONS PROTEST OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT
Lynne Jones MP has shown her support for people who have lost all or part of their occupational pensions by demonstrating with protestors outside the Houses of Parliament today. Lynne joined local Birmingham people (pictured) who had been victims of the wind up of the Kalamazoo Pension and Life Assurance Scheme.
The demonstration, coordinated by the Pensions Action Group (PAG), is timed to coincide with a High Court judicial review which challenges the Government’s rejection of a report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Ann Abraham. The Ombudsman’s report concludes that the Government had issued misleading information to the public about the security of final salary occupational pension schemes and was guilty of setting the minimum funding requirement too low for firms to make their schemes solvent.
Although the Government has set up the Financial Assistance Scheme to help, Lynne Jones MP believes that more needs to be done so that pensioners are adequately compensated. To publicise these concerns Lynne Jones signed Early Day Motion (EDM) 1901, in March 2006, (see notes below), which called on the Government to put more money into the scheme. The Government has responded but is still resisting the Ombudsman’s recommendation to replace the full amount lost by these pensioners. Lynne therefore signed EDM 241 in November last year, which called for further action to be taken.
Lynne Jones MP said:
“Instead of the Government’s suggestion that the Ombudsman’s recommendations mean the taxpayer will pick up the bill for these losses, the Ombudsman’s report, in fact, states there may be other ways to provide compensation by using Government powers without putting the whole burden of the loses on the taxpayer.
These are honest, hard working people who, through no fault of their own, have become victims of mismanagement on the part of the Government and private firms. I believe they deserve our support so they can get their hard earned money back.”
Notes to Editors:
EDM 1901 27.03.2006
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE SCHEME (No. 2)
That this House commends the Government for recognising the problem of occupational pension schemes in deficit by introducing the Pensions Protection Fund and the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS); notes that the FAS has an initial budget of £400 million; suggests that because this sum is to be used for approximately 85,000 employees and former employees in over 160 schemes the fund will have a substantial shortfall; and calls on the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to bring forward a final payment solution that will remedy the issue as soon as possible.
Click here to see a full list of signatories:
EDM 241 22.11.2006
PEOPLE AFFECTED BY OCCUPATIONAL PENSIONS SCHEME WIND-UPS
That this House expresses its concerns about the continued distress of all those affected by the loss of their occupational pensions on wind-up; notes the reports from both the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Public Administration Select Committee which identify the need for the Government to put together an effective resource package; is concerned that the measures introduced so far have been slower, and provided less help, than the measures introduced for members of Robert Maxwell's MGN pension scheme in the 1990s; believes that an effective compensation package could combine both taxpayer and non-taxpayer sources of funding; and recognises that such action is essential if future trust in pensions is to be established.
Click here to see full list of signatories:
Pensions Action Group:
Lynne Jones MP with protesters outside Parliament 07.02.07