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Opposition says bill fails to fill gap

Opposition parties say the Pensions Bill does nothing to address the retirement savings gap and ignores the problems of people who have already lost their final-salary schemes.

The Conservatives say the bill contains nothing to reverse the spread of means testing of state benefits for pensioners and gives no new incentives to employers to set up new schemes for workers.

The Liberal Democrats say the pension protection fund does nothing for the thousands of employees whose final-salary schemes have already failed them.

Unions Amicus and the ISTC say compensation of the Allied Steel & Wire workers, who have seen their benefits slashed, is the only way to restore faith in pensions in the UK.

Conservative Shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson says: “There is no incentive to save in this bill. It includes nothing to persuade a single employer to keep open an existing pension scheme, let alone start a new one for their employees.”

LibDem work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb says: “There is nothing in these proposals to help the tens of thousands who have already lost all or part of their promised company pension. The Government has a moral duty to compensate them.”

ISTC general secretary Michael Leahy says: “We will not abandon our members at ASW and others like them. We will take this to the European Court of Justice but we hope before then that the bill will be amended to include compensation for ASW workers.”

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