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Conservatives call for pension Lifeboat Fund

The Conservatives have put forward an amendment to the current Pensions Bill calling for a Lifeboat Fund to top up the pension incomes of those who have lost out after their pension schemes collapsed.
The amendment to the Bill, which returns to the Commons on Wednesday, would set up a lifeboat fund paid for through Treasury loans in the short term and unclaimed assets within the pensions system in the long term.
Conservative Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond says the fund would top up people’s benefits to the level provided by the Pension Protection Fund.
In the Budget the Chancellor set out plans to offer more help to the estimated 125,000 people who lost out after their schemes collapsed before the PPF was set up, but critics say this is not enough.
Hammond says: “There is no quick fix to the damage the Chancellor has caused to Britain’s pension system, but this is a first step in the right direction which will help some of those worst affected. Conservatives will continue to give the highest priority to sorting out the damage that Gordon Brown has inflicted on Britain’s once ‘gold standard’ pensions system.
“Gordon Brown has doggedly refused to apologise for destroying people’s pensions and security in retirement. It is no wonder people are questioning his suitability for the highest office.
“Now we challenge him to back our proposal to launch a Lifeboat Fund to help the worst-hit pensioners by immediately topping up their income. These people need help now; they cannot afford to wait until 2009 or 2010 for a Conservative Government”.

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