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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 18:43 GMT
Have your say: Pension fears
Pensions Minister Malcolm Wicks
The government made the announcement on Friday

The government has announced that the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) will be extended to cover pension funds that are wound up between May 2004 and April 2005.

But there will be no extra money. So the 400 million fund will have to stretch to cover more people, meaning they will all get less each.

What do you think about the government's decision to extend the reach of the FAS? Was it the right thing to do?

Should the government make more public money available to the scheme?

Do you think healthy pension funds should have to bail out failing ones?

If you would like to join the debate, send us your views using the e-mail form below:

In my opinion I think the pensions minister has a cheek to complain about the lack of pensions industry funds for the FAS when the government removed 5bn annually from pension funds with the removal of tax breaks in 1997.

The estimated bill to cover those pension members who have lost out is nowhere near 5bn per annum.

Everything the government has done has actually increased the decline in occupational pensions, not improved it.
Gary Bradley

The government is failing the people and the pension industry yet again. This will lead to the same problem that the IFA sector has with the FSA about funding those that bailed out. Ask any experienced adviser what they think.
Richard, Complete Financial

The government's decision to extend the reach of the FAS is an acknowledgement of the errors in its original policy.

Ultimately the government is using taxpayers money to compensate those who have lost their pensions as a direct result of its policies. The compensation was offered as a means of boosting electoral support rather then really dealing with the issue.

Healthy pension funds cannot be expected to bail out failing ones. You do not expect people who have managed their money well to share with those who chose not to.

Legally the trustees of these Funds could not voluntarily pay any money in any case.
Brian Johnson

The government was right to extend the reach of the FAS, but only if it backs up its promises with public money.

The biggest problem for politicians is that they are now universally despised, because we are paying into funds to provide them - and other public services workers - with pensions us taxpayers can only dream of.

The politicians have failed to protect us in the past from unscrupulous employers raiding funds, and taking pension holidays. They also, in the form of the chancellor's 'tax grab', have also been stealing from pension funds.

This was not the fault of falling markets, though employers and politicians will try to tell us otherwise.
WI White

As Mr Brown has been collecting several billion pounds a year in tax from pension funds, thus reducing their ability to pay pensions - themselves subject to taxation - it does seem strange that pension funds, already hard hit should now be asked to pay even more.

The taxes already collected must have had some detrimental effect on the ability of funds to meet their obligations. Why not refund some of the money?
Maury Horwich

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The comments we publish are not necessarily the views of the BBC but will reflect the balance of views we have received. It is helpful if contributors state if they work for any organisation relevant to an issue discussed. Readers should form their own views on whether messages published represent undeclared interests, or views prompted by a common source.

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