Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Warning on new state pension plan

Another fine mess you got me into Stanley!

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Alistair Darling

But there will be one big change in government to cope with the challenges of the next few years. Under Blair and Brown, the Treasury has operated as a semi-independent fiefdom, at times at odds with Number 10. No longer. With Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown, you 'll know who's in charge, and they'll both be facing in the same direction.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Pension complaints rise sharply

TPAS, which mediates pension disputes, had 6,821 complaints about pensions in the past year, a 15% increase on the previous 12-month period.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Brown under fire for delay on Equitable

The Conservatives last night accused Gordon Brown of deliberately seeking to delay publication of an independent report into the Equitable Life crisis until after he has left the Treasury.

George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, suggested the Treasury had "deliberately swamped" the parliamentary ombudsman with hundreds of pages of new documents to force a delay in publication of a potentially embarrassing report for the government.

Friday, 11 May 2007

People 'pay less into pensions'

Contributions to pensions have fallen sharply since the rise of "money purchase" schemes, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In 2006, 40% of members of such schemes saw less than 8% of their salaries being paid in as total contributions.

That compared with a combined 20% contribution rate for members of traditional final-salary schemes.

It was also less than the 8% minimum rate suggested for the government's proposed system of personal accounts.

In 2005, the average company money purchase scheme received total contributions of just 9% of salary.

"This confirms the employer retreat from pension provision," said Nigel Stanley, head of campaigns at the TUC.

" An awful lot of people at work today now face big cuts in ther living standards when they retire, particularly those who are now too old to build up decent savings when personal accounts start in 2012."

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Equitable Life a UK Scandal

A European Parliament committee probing the scandal of insurer Equitable Life has urged Britain to compensate policyholders who lost savings.

The committee's damning report says the UK government bears responsibility, because it did not comply with EU law that would have protected them.

Equitable Life slashed policyholders' savings or pensions when it nearly collapsed in 2000.

More than a million were hit in the UK, 8,000 in Ireland and 4,000 in Germany.

The MEPs criticise the UK Financial Ombudsman Service for "serious shortcomings" in its operation.

They also condemn UK ministers and regulators who failed to give evidence.

"If you were Irish or Dutch or German or had bought a policy outside the UK you had no-one you could go to," said British MEP Sir Robert Atkins.

Authorities outside the UK said it was a matter for the UK regulator, he said, but the UK regulator was not interested in people calling from abroad.

British MEP Diana Wallis, who drafted the report, said the saga showed that the European Commission needed to do more to ensure that EU directives were properly implemented.

Labour members of the committee tried but failed to water down the criticism of the UK government.

There is no further opportunity to amend the report, though it can still be rejected by the full parliament in June.