Victims of collapsed pension schemes would get compensation within three months of the Tories returning to power.
At the Tory conference in Blackpool this week, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Chris Grayling promised to set up a £30m a year lifeboat fund to help the estimated 125,000 pensioners affected since 1997 after their schemes collapsed.
Grayling said these pensioners would be a priority from day one if the Tories won the next general election and he slammed Prime Minister Gordon Brown for “crippling” the pension system.
Grayling said a compensation package could be funded by using unclaimed investment assets and said a Tory Treasury would provide a £30m loan so pensioners could get their pensions while the lifeboat fund was being set up.
He said: “What Brown has done to our pension system is nothing short of criminal. It was not just his £5bn a year tax raid. He interfered so much in running pensions that many trustees decided it was easier to close down. I give this commitment to all pensioners who have lost their pensions under Brown. We will refloat the lifeboat and we will make the first compensation payments to pensioners within three months of taking office.”
Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “It contrasts interestingly with the Government guaranteeing cash deposits but failing to guarantee these schemes.
“There has been a continued failure to pay out the sums due in a timely manner.”