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Industry asked to contribute to package

The financial services industry is being asked to contribute to an assistance package for the estimated 60,000 workers in collapsed occupational pension schemes who have lost benefits.

Industry experts have predicted that compensating the workers will cost far more than the £400m that the Government has agreed to pay.

Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith has called on the pension industry to help resolve the problem although he did not make clear whether financial or technical aid is expected.

The ABI says it cannot comment on the request for aid until it is clear what is being sought.

Smith says: “As this Government assistance will benefit not only those directly affected but also pension providers and the pension industry, we will work with key business representatives, unions and others on the various ways they may be able to help and whether they may make a contribution.”

Scottish Equitable pensions development director Stewart Ritchie says: “The Government&#39s statement begs the question as to the degree to which those to be helped will receive help and where the money will come from.”

Independent consultant Dr Ros Altmann says: “It is not yet clear what the DWP wants the industry to do but making pension providers chip in would help restore confidence in pensions across the board.”

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