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Plan to protect pension rights

A future Tory Government would consider introducing an insurance scheme for occupational pensions to protect employee rights in the event of companies going bankrupt.

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the party&#39s conference in Bournemouth, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary David Willetts said the idea had a degree of merit as occupational pensions are one of the most crucial ingredients to prosperity in retirement.

He identified the move away from defined-benefit to defined-contribution schemes as a very worrying trend and said preserving occupational schemes would be a high priority of any Tory Government.

Willetts admitted the Tories would be reluctant to reinstate tax relief on dividends in occupational pensions, which Chancellor Gordon Brown removed in 1997 and is worth £5bn a year to Government coffers.

He said removing £5bn from the balance sheet in one swoop would mean a significant loss to other areas of spending.

Willetts also said he would not consider banning employers from taking contribution holidays because it might spur them into stopping contributing altogether.

He said: “We are looking at an insurance scheme for occupational schemes to protect employee pension rights in the event of companies going bust. We could find there are other ways we can rebuild confidence in occupational pensions without reinstating tax relief on dividends.”

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In Focus — May 2015: private medical insurance market in Germany

Welcome to the latest edition of In Focus. In this issue, Jelf examines the private medical insurance market for employers with expatriate workforces in Germany. This includes the common challenges faced in sourcing appropriate coverage, along with a selection of available solutions. This will be of particular interest to HR/reward decision makers with employees based in Germany. It will assess the cultural norms, risks and backdrop that are relevant to organisations with expatriate staff in this location.

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