HL Deb 23 March 2004 vol 659 cc91-2WA
Baroness Greengross

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will provide a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with recompensing those whose occupational pension scheme has collapsed; and, if so, how much it would cost to give (a) 100 per cent compensation for those aged over state retirement age; (b) 75 per cent compensation for those aged over 50 to state retirement age; (c) 50 per cent compensation for those aged 35–49; and (d) 25 per cent compensation for those aged up to 34 at the time of their occupational scheme's collapse; and [HL1814]

How many people have been affected by the collapse of their occupational pension scheme; how many schemes have collapsed in the past 30 years; and what was the age breakdown of those affected at the time of their scheme's collapse. [HL1813]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

This information is not available. The currently available source of information on pension schemes is the Pension Schemes Registry, which is administered by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (Opra). Its database does not allow us to identify figures on the number of occupational pension schemes that have started to wind up or that have wound up underfunded; the solvency position of the sponsoring company; or the age breakdown of members affected.

We are exploring with industry representatives the basis on which we can establish firm estimates of the extent of the problem of defined benefit schemes winding up underfunded, the numbers affected and the potential scale of losses.