Pensioners win case but no cash
Four pensioners who lost most or all of their company pensions have successfully won their High Court case against the Government.
In a judgement that amounted to legal pension advice, the court ruled that the Government was wrong to reject the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report into collapsed pension schemes.
The Ombudsman Ann Abraham, said: “The Government was guilty of maladministration last year.” However, despite the judgement, the pensioners will not recover any cash value of their lost pension fund.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the Government had set up a £1.8bn Financial Assistance Scheme and although he “sympathised” with those affected by the collapse of their pension funds, the solution to their problems had to be “affordable”.
David Laws, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions spokesman, said: “Unless the Government settled with the pensioners, he would table an amendment to the Pensions Bill calling for them to be compensated.
One of the people who brought the court case, Henry Bradley from Belfast, said: “It’s a big step forward. But we will have to wait and see what the Government reaction is.”