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Occupational Pensions: Financial Assistance Scheme

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what plans he has to change the proportion of pension payments made to occupational pension scheme members who make claims to the financial assistance scheme; and what the timescale is for such changes; (173781)

(2) what assessment he has made of the findings in the Young report on changes to the proportion of pensions payable in cases involving the financial assessment scheme.

The Findings of the Young Review, released on Monday 17 December 2007, has indicated we are able to increase our commitment to the financial assistance scheme for pension scheme members who have lost their pension since April 1997 to April 2005 from 80 per cent. to 90 per cent. of their expected pension, in addition I have also announced that we will now pay all members from their normal scheme retirement age subject to a lower age limit of 60.

We are keen to ensure that members do not wait any longer than is absolutely necessary for increased payments. We are considering the changes that will require legislation in order to bring the new FAS benefits into effect.

We will bring forward some legislative changes as part of the Pensions Bill currently before Parliament

The full scheme will only be in place when the regulations made under any new powers are in force; we intend to make sure this happens as soon as possible.