The pensions of workers at Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley, RBS, HBOS and Lloyds are 100 per cent protected by taxpayers while all other workers’ pensions have no taxpayer protection at all, says Altmann.
She is calling on the Government to ensure all workers have the same level of taxpayer protection rather than singling out certain groups for special treatment.
Altmann says: “The Government is still ignoring the social and financial impact of pension inequalities as with public sector pensions.
“The Northern Rock pension deficit alone is over £100m. Bradford and Bingley’s deficit is another £100m. Taxpayers will apparently have to pay all of this. And that’s before we consider RBS, HBOS or Lloyds, where the deficits are over £4bn.
“This raises a wider issue of fairness and social justice. It seems that policymakers consider bankers are a superior class of worker.
“The Government has not provided any justification for this unequal treatment and one has to question whether policymakers have a sufficient grasp of financial reality when it comes to pensions.”
Altmann says the situation is reminiscent of the Government’s disinterest in the mounting public sector pension liabilities.
She says: “The fact that pensions have to be paid out over a long time horizon, does not mean the costs can be ignored.
“Taxpayer funds are being committed on a massive scale to substantial long-term commitments, without any budgeting in place to ensure the money is set aside to pay the costs.
“In its panic to shore up the banks, the Government has failed to factor in the substantial sums involved in pensions.”