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Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
We were robbed
Workers protesting
Many workers are angry that they have lost their money
BBC Radio 4's Inside Money was broadcast on Saturday, 2 August, and Monday, 4 August, 2003.

The government has unveiled new plans to protect the millions of workers who pay into occupational pensions. But what about the unlucky people who have already lost out?

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I paid for 25 years into a pension, then I find suddenly the guarantees are no longer there and we have lost it
Willie Riggans

Inside Money examines the plight of thousands of people who, having paid into their occupational pension scheme now find they could lose it altogether.

Forge worker Willie Riggans saved for over 20 years into his company scheme believing he was making sensible provision for his retirement.

But two years ago, his employer - United Engineering Forgings, went into administration, and the pension scheme is currently being wound up.

Serious and growing problem

Along with 1300 colleagues Willie has no idea what pension he will eventually get, and at the age of 62 he has little time left to repair the damage.

Willie told Inside Money: "I feel very angry, shocked... I paid for 25 years into a pension, a guaranteed pension, so they told us.

"Then I suddenly find the guarantees are no longer there and we have lost it."

Recognising this is a serious and growing problem, the government has announced new measures to make sure future workers will not suffer the same fate as those at UEF.

But what will it do to help the people who have already lost out?

Willie Riggans was not prepared to sit back and accept the situation. He joined Inside Money in an attempt to get back the pension he had paid for.

On his journey he explored the possibility of taking a legal challenge against the government, and asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Andrew Smith, what he could do to help.

Presenter: Lesley Curwen
Producer: Jessica Dunbar
Senior Producer: Jennifer Clarke

Read your comments
01 Aug 03  |  Inside Money
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31 Jul 03  |  Inside Money


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