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Pressure on to pull back from pension precipice

Pressure is building on the Government to reconsider its pension policy following a barrage of criticism from MPs, industry bodies and unions.

Former welfare minister and Labour MP Frank Field says the Government should consider restoring advance corporation tax credits for companies with a defined-benefit scheme to stem the flow to defined-contribution pensions. He also wants international accountancy standard FRS17 suspended. “The Government is at a pension precipice, which it could pull back from if it wants,” says Field.

Roger Lyons, general secretary of Amicus, one of the UK&#39s biggest unions, formed by the MSF and AEEU, has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair, urging him to stop the “great pension robbery”, with employers “turning their back on a century of provision.”

NAPF chairman Peter Thompson says pensions are 40 per cent more expensive with the removal of ACT credits, poor investment returns, greater longevity and increased regulation.

Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions Dave Willetts says the Government must act before the Pickering review as many funds will have closed by the time it reports.

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