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Financial Assistance Scheme

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the progress of the Financial Assistance Scheme. (119375)

As at 26 January 2007 the Financial Assistance Scheme had paid out a total of £3,028,553 gross (£2,350,217 net) to 871 qualifying members.

A further 91 members will be paid as soon as they have confirmed their personal details, and an additional 196 members have been assessed and will be eligible for FAS when they are 65.

To help ensure that FAS is delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible we have completed, with the assistance of representatives from the pensions industry, a review of the administration of the FAS scheme.

This incorporated the examination of a number of options to increase the speed at which eligible members receive payments.

Good progress is being made towards implementing the proposals from that review, which include measures to inject skills from the private sector to enhance the data gathering processes and thus speed up payments.