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    From Ros Altmann:economist and pensions,
    investment and retirement policy expert

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    Author: Ros Altmann

    Did Carillion’s banks demand pension scheme sacrifices as price of more loans?

    Did Carillion’s banks demand pension scheme sacrifices as price of more loans?

    Carillion suggests some firms treat pension debt as ‘optional’. Did lenders demand pension fund should be sacrificed as condition of bank loan? Trustees and Pensions Regulator must be consulted before scheme security is compromised. Totally unacceptable to insist pension security plays second fiddle – these liabilities have people’s lives attached. Serious questions about banks demands to reduce pension funding as condition of new loans: Evidence is emerging today which suggests that Carillion’s banks insisted further lending to the company was…

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    PPF can cope with Carillion but …

    PPF can cope with Carillion but …

    Pension Protection Fund can cope with Carillion. Concern that a hard Brexit might lead to PPF facing difficulties. The Carillion pensioners will see much of their pension replaced by the Pension Protection Fund (but future increases will be lower).  However, those not yet at pension age or who took early retirement may lose at least 10-20% of their promised pension. The PPF has budgeted for some big schemes to fail and can manage the onboarding of all Carillion’s pension schemes….

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    As care crisis worsens, Jeremy Hunt has a chance to improve both NHS and Social Care

    As care crisis worsens, Jeremy Hunt has a chance to improve both NHS and Social Care

    Golden opportunity to address the social care crisis must not be missed. Integration of healthcare and social care can improve the quality of both. Meaningful reform must end artificial and unfair division between dementia and cancer. As the population ages, the country’s care system simply isn’t fit for purpose: Social care available from local authorities is not providing good care for today’s elderly people (a cohort which is currently very small yet is causing such mayhem), and that lack of…

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    Ode to Brexit

    Ode to Brexit

    Britain has voted to leave the EU The country decided to try something new We want to recapture control of our laws A clearly attractive and popular cause British voters were promised the future was bright With immigrant numbers reduced overnight 350 mill extra to keep us all healthier And new global trade deals to make us all wealthier Our Leaders insist we deserve special favours – We’re the mighty UK and EU’s nearest neighbours We seek a new partnership…

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    Well done to the PPF for standing up to Toys’R’Us and getting a good compromise

    Well done to the PPF for standing up to Toys’R’Us and getting a good compromise

    Well done to the PPF – more money for the pension scheme and many jobs reprieved PPF Toys’R’Us tactics have sent strong signal to other scheme sponsors to take pension promises more seriously It is good to see the Pension Protection Fund challenging corporate sponsors at Toys’R’Us and managing to get more money into the pension scheme. Its judgment that the company could indeed afford to pay, despite its protestations that this was impossible, has proven correct. This has sent…

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    Toys’R’Us is another signal for Government to recognise dangers lurking in UK pension schemes

    Toys’R’Us is another signal for Government to recognise dangers lurking in UK pension schemes

    Toys’R’Us pension woes highlight risks in employer pension promises Most private companies cannot shoulder open-ended multi-decade liabilities In coming years, more employers will look to offload their pension schemes – or be bankrupted by them Toys’R’Us is the latest casualty in the UK defined benefit pension crisis, highlighting yet again that private sector employer pension promises cannot always be relied upon. The Government recently concluded that most employers can afford their pension deficits, but I believe this is too complacent….

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    Work and Pensions Select Committee call for better consumer protection

    Work and Pensions Select Committee call for better consumer protection

    11 December 2017 Work and Pensions Select Committee presses Government for action to ban cold-calling House of Lords has paved the way for MPs to improve consumer protection Must not miss this chance to ban cold-calling and offer automatic free guidance before pensions transfers, to protect people’s pensions against scams or fraud The Work and Pensions Select Committee is calling on the Government to urgently improve protection for people’s pensions. This is absolutely right. Too many people are losing their…

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    Social Care crisis – Four Seasons the latest casualty

    Social Care crisis – Four Seasons the latest casualty

    10 December 2017 Social care crisis deepens as Four Seasons healthcare drowns in debt Debt burdens, rising staff costs, post-referendum nursing shortages and falling council payments have undermined Britain’s social care system Regulator has demanded Four Seasons agreement in 48 hours but crisis remains Hedge funds playing financial football while fate of elderly care home residents hangs on debt restructurings Four Seasons teetering on the brink as care crisis deepens: In 2016, the insolvency specialist Opus concluded ‘every part of…

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    Rise in Pensioner Poverty shows triple lock faults

    Rise in Pensioner Poverty shows triple lock faults

    4 December 2017 Rise in pensioner poverty deeply concerning Poorest pensioners falling behind because triple lock doesn’t protect Pension Credit More older women in poverty as they have lower state and private pensions than men Recent reductions in pensioner poverty are going into reverse: Figures released today by the Joseph Rowntree Trust point to a worrying rise in poverty among both children and pensioners. Pensioner poverty has reduced significantly in recent years, but this trend seems to have gone into…

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    Government facing Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect consumers

    Government facing Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect consumers

    23 October 2017 Government faces Lords defeat tomorrow over refusal to protect financial consumers Hard to understand why Ministers are resisting changes that have widespread support Policy needs action not words – let’s not miss this opportunity to introduce cold-calling ban Cross-party amendments to Financial Guidance and Claims Bill call for: Ban on cold-calling for pensions Mandatory guidance for pension savers before transferring money out Breathing space to protect people with huge debts (vital as interest rates set to rise)…

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