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MP welcomes Lords backing for Dexion 'Lifeboat Scheme'

A committee of the House of Lords passed a cross-party amendment to the Pensions Bill on Wednesday to create a lifeboat fund for victims of failed occupational pension schemes such as Dexion.

The amendment, tabled by Conservative Lord Skelmersdale and LibDem Lord Oakeshott, would provide compensation from the Financial Assistance Scheme at the same levels as the Pension Protection Fund. The amendment was passed by 181 votes to 126.

Afterwards, Mike Penning said:

This is welcome news as it means that currently the amendment now stands in the draft of the law. It makes it a bit more difficult for the Government to argue for it to be removed when it comes back to the House of Commons.

The Government is still fixated by concerns that the lifeboat scheme would use taxpayers money, but that is simply not the case. The plan is to use unclaimed assets, he added.

The Unclaimed Assets Register has identified 15.3 billion such assets, of which 3 billion are attributable to pension funds.

Mike Penning concluded:

Many decent people are now struggling to survive or having to work in low-paid jobs at a time when they expected to be able to relax and enjoy a well earned retirement. This problem could be solved and the House of Lords has now recognised that there is a workable solution.

The Government should accept that fact and act to compensate these hard-working pensioners immediately.

Submitted by bernard on Thu, 06/14/2007 - 17:23.