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Altmann questions cash claim for assistance scheme

Independent pension consultant Ros Altmann claims the announcement of extra funding for the Financial Assistance Scheme is misleading.

Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton announced the extension of eligibility for the FAS in response to Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham’s damning report into Government maladministration of occupational pensions.

Workers within 15 years of their scheme pension age before May 2004 will now benefit, rather than just those within three years. The Government says this will help around 30,000 people at a cost of 2.3bn.

Altmann claims the 2.3bn figure is misleading as it is paid over a large number of years, is not inflation-linked and payments are capped at 12,000, as opposed to the Pension Protection Fund cap of 25,000.

Altmann says: “This administration is undermining confidence and trust in pensions and the word of Government.”

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