It doesn't matter what sort of Cabinet infighting led the Government to decide to help fund the pensions of those facing poverty because of scheme wind-ups. Those affected are now being looked after to some degree although £400m is not a lot of money and the Government is looking to companies and providers to cough up more. But with what justification?
It is asking a disparate group of people, say, shareholders in Marks & Spencer and the policyholders of Norwich Union, to provide cash. But why not an Amsterdam Asian equity specialist, a Boston custodian bank or a global benefits consultancy?All are arguably part of the UK pension industry.
This is a problem caused by Government regulatory failure and flawed Government advice on occupational schemes. So it is taxpayers who should pay up – spreading the burden at least as fairly as the UK's tax system. Yet we fear that calls for other funding from supposedly involved parties may end up as an excuse for underfunding.