The Financial Assistance Scheme has admitted its first pension schemes from solvent employers.
Around 4,000 people who lost savings when their pension schemes were wound up by solvent companies have become potentially eligible for financial help from the FAS following recent legislative changes.
Previously, all pension schemes which became eligible for the FAS had been from companies which went bust.
The six companies admitted to the scheme include building materials supplier Expamet, whose scheme has 1,233 members mainly in the Hartlepool area, and Fredk H Burgess, a Shrewsbury-based agricultural machinery company which has a scheme with 1,128 members.
Minister for pensions reform Mike O’Brien says: “It is very worrying for people when their final-salary pension winds up underfunded and they do not know how much of their pension they will receive.
“In rarer cases, this can happen where the company continues trading, so I am pleased these six schemes have now qualified for the FAS, guaranteeing them a significant proportion of the pension they had worked for, broadly comparable to compensation paid by the Pensions Protection Fund.
“We have just published regulations to extend the FAS to allow people to receive 90 per cent of their pension from their normal scheme retirement age and later this year we intend to bring forward legislation to admit more schemes with solvent employers into the FAS.”