Socialist Worker

Pensions in crisis

Guess who won't be old and poor? Your boss

Issue No. 1867

MILLIONS OF workers are having their pensions threatened because company directors are grabbing huge payouts for themselves.

This was revealed this week in a report by City investor Morley Fund Management, which is due to be published in full in November.

It highlighted how fat cat bosses are helping themselves to huge pensions from the money that is supposed to go to workers.

BP's boss Lord Browne, for example, grabbed £19.1 million from the pension fund last year.

And Lord Hollick, chief executive of United Business Media, will get a £726,000 pension.

'The more you dig into this, the more the can of worms seems to open,' said Iain Richards from Morley Fund Management.

Meanwhile workers are being denied access to stakeholder pensions, which were supposed to be a key plank of New Labour's pensions policy.

The pensions were supposed to be aimed at workers earning between £9,000 and £18,000 a year who do not have access to an occupational pension. Many cannot afford to buy into a personal pension scheme.

The government had promised to impose £50,000 fines on companies with five or more employees who did not set up stakeholder funds for their workers. Two years on, pensions minister Malcolm Wicks has admitted that one in ten companies has not provided a stakeholder policy. But no companies have been fined.

Some 80 percent of existing funds have no money in them. These failures condemn even more workers to poverty in retirement.

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Sat 6 Sep 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1867
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