A Bill that would give better protection to scheme members when company pension funds are wound up w...
A Bill that would give better protection to scheme members when company pension funds are wound up will only get Tory support if the government indicates it is serious about supporting the issue, says Howard Flight, Opposition Treasury spokesman.
Referred to as the "Maersk Bill", it will be up for discussion in Parliament next Friday, according to Labour MP Jim Cousins, and its sponsors will be looking for cross-party support, something that Flight says he has nothing against considering the gist of the issue.
The Bill's name comes from the Danish shipping conglomerate that wound up a scheme leaving its members with a fraction of the money they believed they had been promised, and along with the example of Welsh steel workers left without pension income is cited as the reason why additional rules are required.
However, without indications of solid government support, Flight says his party's support cannot be counted on.
"We can't take a stand until we see the paperwork," he says.
Flight made the comments at yesterday's Cityforum conference "Pensions in Crisis?", which heard from several speakers that there is serious risk a major company pension scheme could be thrown into disarray by current economic events.
Most cases so far have only involved a few hundred scheme members at a time, cut the issue could leap up the political agenda if a scheme involving tens of thousands of members hits the headlines, the conference heard .
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