As previously announced by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will be closed to new applications from schemes from 1 September 2016.
The PPF took responsibility for the management of FAS in 2009, on behalf of the Government, which funds it via the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
FAS provides financial assistance to people who have lost out on their pension because:
·they were a member of an under-funded defined benefit scheme that started to wind-up between 1 January 1997 and 5 April 2005, and
·their scheme began to wind-up (ended) and did not have enough money to pay members’ benefits, and
·the employer cannot pay the shortfall because it is insolvent, no longer exists or no longer has to meet its commitment to pay its debt to the pension scheme, or
·the scheme started to wind up after 5 April 2005 but is ineligible for help from the Pension Protection Fund due to the employer becoming insolvent before this date.
Sue Rivas, Pension Protection Fund deputy director of scheme and member services said: “After careful consideration, we decided to close FAS to new applications after keeping it open for 10 years longer than the original deadline set. Although we believe we have captured the majority of pension schemes that would qualify for FAS assistance, there is still one week left for any potentially eligible remaining schemes to come forward and get in touch to request our help. We’d encourage trustees, advisors, former trustees and/or former advisors of any pension scheme they believe may qualify and has not yet notified us, to do so as soon as possible”.
The PPF has successfully processed 1,028 scheme applications. FAS has protected the benefits of around 155,000 members.
Members currently receiving, or with a deferred entitlement to receive, assistance payments from FAS are not affected by this announcement. The 1 September 2016 is only a closure to new applications.
If you are a member of or know of any scheme that is potentially eligible for FAS help, please do contact us directly so we can provide guidance as soon as possible:
Telephone: 0845 600 2541
Textphone: 0845 600 2542 (if you have speech or hearing difficulties)
Email: [email protected]
Notes to Editors
The Pension Protection Fund:
The Pension Protection Fund protects millions of people throughout the United Kingdom who belong to defined benefit pension schemes. If their employers go bust, and their pension schemes cannot afford to pay what they promised, the PPF will pay compensation for their lost pensions. Tens of thousands of people now receive compensation from the PPF and hundreds of thousands more will do so in the future. The PPF is a public corporation, set up by the Pensions Act 2004, and is run by an independent Board.
For further press information contact:
PPF Press Office
020 7566 9775