ASW Relief Fund Costs Twice as Much to Run as it Pays Out

July 2, 2007 3:47 PM

Today, Jenny Willott MP and Member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, released figures showing that the Financial Assistance Scheme has spent more than twice as much in running costs as it has paid out to those who have lost their pensions, including ASW workers in Cardiff.

In answers to a series of her Parliamentary Questions, Jenny discovered that, over the last three years, the FAS has cost nearly £10m to run and has paid out just £4.35m to just 1,166 members, including just 31 members of ASW Cardiff Pension.

Commenting, Jenny, who is writing to the new Work and Pensions Secretary, Peter Hain, about this issue, said:

"The Financial Assistance Scheme is clearly not working. It costs twice as much to run as it has paid out, only a tiny number have received payments and even then, the scheme provides just 60% of people's pension savings.

"If a pension scheme collapses today, people can guarantee to see 90% of the pension they saved for. Why should ASW workers have to suffer with this third rate scheme that is slow to payout, costly to run and stingy?

"Peter Hain has been in the Wales Office for 5 years. He will know more than anyone else in the Government, the hardship and injustice dealt to former ASW workers in Cardiff. Now that he is Work and Pensions Secretary as well, he is in a unique position to ensure that pensions justice is finally done.

"When the Pensions Bill comes back to the House of Commons in the next few weeks, he has the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives and give proper support for all those who have lost their hard earned pensions through no fault of their own. I will be writing to urge him to do so."

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