View more on these topics

Government set to defend itself in pensions judicial review appeal

The Government will face the Court of Appeal tomorrow in an attempt to defend its decision to ignore the Parliamentary Ombudsman over the 125,000 who lost out when their occupational schemes collapsed.

Pensions consultant Ros Altmann says the Government will argue that ministers are not accountable to the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the courts and are answerable only to their own MPs.

Victims of the collapses, some of whom have already entered retirement, will demonstrate outside the Court of Appeal before the hearing.

Altmann says the government will stoop to new lows in its attempt to defend the indefensible.

She says: “In a breathtaking display of political arrogance, the Government’s lawyers will spell out their contempt for the Parliamentary Ombudsman and her investigation. The Ombudsman is being forced to defend herself against an unprecedented attack on her position.

“Her lawyers will be asking the Court of Appeal what the point of her office would be if ministers can, without even knowing the facts, simply decide that they are right and she is wrong.”

DWP spokesperson says: “Our reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s recommendation is on the basis that there had been maladministration, as directed by the court.”

He adds: “We have come forward with an £8bn assistance package, with £1.9bn in net present value, so all 125,000 who lost their pension when their employer went bust will get 80 per cent of their expected core pension. This represents a significant increase in funding from the taxpayer.

“Furthermore, we will match additional funds generated by the review of the assets in the collapsed pension schemes with the goal of moving assistance towards 90 per cent of core expected pension.”

Altmann says in reality only 1,300 of the 125,000 victims have received any money at all and the Government is not paying 80 per cent of the pension they would have received from their scheme.

She says: “The Government has used political spin to placate its own backbenchers by inventing a term called ‘core pension’ which is not the members’ expected pension at all and then taken 80 per cent of that.”

Alltmann says the Government’s argument that only the House of Commons can decide whether ministers are right or wrong is a dangerous challenge to democracy.

She says: “Somebody needs to show this Government that it cannot behave as a dictatorship. We have recently heard much about moving away from political spin and listening to Parliament and the people, but when it comes to matters that it finds uncomfortable, the Government seems to want the power to do exactly as it pleases.”


Halifax house price forecast rises to 6%

Halifax has revised its forecast for house price inflation from 4 per cent to 6 per cent for the year but warns it expects the pace of growth to slow in the second half of the year.The shift brings the UK’s biggest lender’s projections for the year in line with Nationwide Building Society, which says […]

Whitechurch launches mortgage club

Whitechurch Network is launching a mortgage club for members in conjunction with 1st Source Direct. Managing director Ian McIver says he has recognised the value of controlling distribution through a single channel but feels the logistics and administration often needed in writing such business in-house are more onerous than using an outsourced company. He says […]

Gov makes medical check-ups for employees tax-free

Health screenings and medical check-ups for employees will be exempt from taxation as of August 14th.The Government has amended income tax regulations, which required employees to declare health screenings and medical check-ups as a ‘benefit in kind’ and pay income tax on them.But soon, if performed as an arrangement between employer and employee, medicals will […]

FSA confirms new suitability requirements

The FSA has published its guidelines for a simplified, less prescriptive version of the suitability letter as part of its final disclosure measures for the new conduct of business sourcebook.


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