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‘Govt set to agree compensation for pension victims’

Pension campaigner Ros Altmann believes compensation for the victims of collapsed schemes could have moved a step closer after she met with Department for Work and Pensions Secretary Peter Hain.

Altmann says in a private meeting with several members of her Pensions Action Group on October 3, Hain and pensions minister Mike O’Brien agreed that the estimated 125,000 investors affected have been treated unfairly and pledged to help more.

She says: “Peter Hain said it was daylight robbery and Mike O’Brien said it has to be sorted out and those affected had been treated unfairly. Hain also said when he and O’Brien took over their briefs, they were horrified at what they found.”

According to Altmann, Hain said O’Brien had been speaking to the Treasury about funding and pledged to do more to equalise victims’ payouts with Pension Protection Fund benefits.

Altmann says Hain agreed with action group members that this was the biggest social injustice of recent times and expressed concern about the impact on Labour’s reputation.

A DWP spokesman could not corroborate the statements made by ministers but says: “Peter Hain and Mike O’Brien had a productive discussion with Ros Altmann and a group of people who lost pensions when their schemes went into wind-up.”

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