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Smith says Govt may compensate wind-up victims

Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith has admitted that the Government will consider offering discretionary assistance to the 60,000 pensioners whose pension schemes have been wound up.

Speaking in an Opposition half-day debate on Crisis in Pension Scheme Wind-Ups last week, Smith said he would not raise false hopes of compensation for people who have been left with little or no pension fund following the closure of their schemes. But he conceded that the Government is looking at offering discretionary assistance.

Shadow work and pensions spokesman David Willetts described the Government&#39s efforts to address the crisis so far as feeble. He said the Government is effectively prescribing “fire insurance for people whose houses have burnt down” and claimed that the pension protection fund will be of little comfort to the thousands who have already suffered losses.

When pressed by Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman Steve Webb, Smith said the 60,000 estimate from independent consultant Ros Altmann and the Pensions Action Group for the number of pensioners and workers affected “seemed to be on the right scale” but he refused to estimate what the cost of compensation for this group could be.

The debate followed Smith&#39s announcement of plans to introduce a “golden handshake” for people who work beyond retirement age to get an interest rate of at least 2 per cent above base rate if they defer state pension payments.

Smith said: “While I do underline that it might not be possible to do anything, we should not close off the opportunity of making some assistance available to some. The question of compensation does have implications of legal liability, which I do not accept. There is no doubt a case on human grounds.”


Advisers will be probed on rebated commission

IFAs will be questioned over the amount of commission they rebate back to clients as part of the FSA&#39s bid to calculate the market average commission under its menu proposals. The FSA is proposing to carry out regular surveys of advisers to derive the effect of direct rebating on the commission figures so it can […]

Ample to develop wraps as Carruthers focuses on IFAs

Consumer fund supermarket Ample will be developed into an extensive wrap platform and rolled out to IFAs following its acquisition by Tomas Carruthers, the former chief executive of Interactive Investor. Carruthers, who helped Interactive Investor through its 1991 acquisition by AMP and subsequent merger with Ample, has paid an undisclosed sum for the business which […]

Skandia profits surge and assets reach record £16bn

Profits at Skandia UK leapt by 121 per cent to £158m last year from £72m in 2002. Assets under management inc-reased by 30 per cent to a record £15.8bn from £12.2bn. Skandia&#39s overall life and pension business fell by 1 per cent from £361m to £365m. The company&#39s share of the IFA market increased from […]

Commercial break

My Sipp contains a commercial property valued at £250,000, which I may sell, plus £100,000 in cash. What are my options and are there any other issues I should know about concerning gearing up to buy more property? Property purchase within a Sipp is relatively straightforward under current legislation. The Sipp must place a deposit […]

Allianz Technology Trust – April 2017

Welcome to the latest update for Allianz Technology Trust PLC from the Trust’s portfolio manager, Walter Price. Portfolio review The Trust’s NAV returned 4.3% , outperforming the Dow Jones World Technology Index return of 2.8%. In US dollar terms, the portfolio gained 4.8%. During the month, stock selection contributed to relative performance, and industry allocation […]


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