View more on these topics

Altmann warns on pension gap

Pension campaigner Ros Altmann says the trustees of Northern Rock’s pension scheme must ask the Gov-ernment to fill the estim-ated £100m deficit in the fund now that the firm has been nationalised.

Altmann says it is the responsibility of trustees to take advantage of the situation to benefit the pension fund. But she says it is unfair that Northern Rock’s staff will have a pension scheme effectively underwritten by the Government.

She says: “It will be the safest private sector scheme in the country. The whole thing is outrageous. It is of huge cost to the taxpayer although the pension scheme liabilities are minuscule compared with the cost of nationalisation as a whole.

“But the trustees have got to take advantage of this temporary ownership because whatever happens after this, the sponsor will not be as strong as the Government. While the Government is in charge, they need to get enough money into the scheme to buy it out. It may well be that the Government will resist and then perhaps The Pensions Regulator should play a role.”

Pinsent Masons pensions partner Anthea Whitton says: “How would any such action be perceived by those pension scheme members whose companies have failed and who now rely on thelimited protection available through the Financial Assistance Scheme?

“How does the support being offered to Northern Rock by the Government fit with the stated position that it will not be a guarantor of last resort to the Pension Protection Fund?”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman says: “It is business as usualat Northern Rock. The pension scheme is managed bya board of trustees and there is an employer covenant in place. It is for the trustees to manage the scheme in the best interests of its members overseen by the PensionsRegulator. The PPF continues to act as a safety net for occupational pension schemes, including Northern Rock.”


Sense of justice

The recent court case involving a firm of advisers and the Financial Ombudsman Service has swivelled the spotlight back to the injustice and fundamental unfairness of the dispute resolution system under which firms labour.

Newcastle’s lending breaks 1bn barrier

Newcastle Building Society group profits rose by 52 per cent to 17.6m in 2007. It says gross lending surpassed 1bn for the first time.

2016 Global Survey of Individual Investors: How is investor behaviour rewriting the job description for financial professionals?

Trapped between expectations for near double-digit returns and strong apprehensions about investing in persistently volatile markets, investors worldwide are of the opinion that professional financial advice is worth the fee. But even though they believe individuals who work with a financial professional are more likely to achieve their goals, investors have a clear vision of […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm