As Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary I have recently written to both the Government and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to ask why a funding shortfall at Carillion’s pension scheme was allowed to widen before the construction group’s collapse.
My letters (which you can read below) ask a series of questions about the growing hole in Carillion’s retirement fund, with its deficit near doubling from £317m in 2015 to £587m at the end of 2016.
I believe that Carillion have failed in their duty to ensure that their pension provision was adequately managed and resourced. Despite profit warnings and unsustainable debt levels they allowed their deficit to grow.
There are many questions for the Government and The Pensions Regulator, including:
When did the trustees notify TPR of Carillion’s pension scheme difficulties as they are required to under law and what did TPR do?
Given the scale of the liabilities and concerns for other Defined Benefit schemes, what does this mean for the adequacy of the Pension Protection Fund?
What happens to employees in Defined Contribution schemes which aren’t covered by the PPF?
What is the Government doing to stop pension ‘scammers’ from targeting pension scheme members in the same way British Steel pension scheme members were targeted?
Around 28,000 members of the Carillion’s 13 pension schemes are facing cuts to their retirement benefits as payment of their pensions is taken over by the Pension Protection Fund. The Fund has estimated that the cost of taking on all of Carillion’s schemes could be as high as £900m, its largest on record.
You can read my letter to Esther McVey here.
You can read my letter to The Pensions Regulator here.