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Money & Rights

Wronged Pensioners call on PM for a change in the law

A group of pensioners who have been left severely out of pocket because of a legal loophoole are calling on the Prime Minister and Pensions Minister for a change in the law.

It follows a rallying event at the House of Commons last week attended by representatives of the Hewlett Packard Pensions Group and MP's and their representatives from 12 different constituencies across the UK- including John Redwood MP, Bill Grant MP. Matt Rodda MP and Sir Hugo Swire MP.

Around 100,000 pensioners are affected by the loophole which has allowed their former employers to short change them, by not increasing their annual pension payments in line with inflation.

The Hewlett Packard Pensioners Association represents 3500 pensioners who have each lost on average in excess of £24000.

They are calling on the Government to tighten up the law, forcing the employers concerned- mainly US based multinationals- to pay the increases in the future. 

Following last week's event, which received cross-party support, they have now written to the Pensions Minister Guy Opperman calling on hum, and PM Theresa May, to honour her pre-election promises, change the law and prevent 'bad behaviour' by businesses in the future.

Julian Russell, a spokesman for the campaign, said: "The meeting last week was well supported by MP's from across party lines, by members of the press, and by our own members as well as members from other large pension schemes which behave badly as Hewlett Packard Enterprises.

"Our next step will be to seek a face to face meeting with the Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Guy Opperman MP when we shall be asking him to confirm that the commitment made in the Conservative party's election manifesto, and reinforced the Prime Minister's pledge to "protect the pensions of ordinary people from the actions of unscrupulous company bosses"- that this means us" Both the former and present Pensions Ministers have indicated that they regard out ex-employer's actions to be "morally unacceptable so we are expecting a positive response to this.

We are also asking him to explain what specific measures his department is proposing to take in order to curtail and percent "bad behaviour" of this type in he future.

Finally we are asking him to give us his undertaking that he will introduce appropriate measures in the forthcoming White Paper to extend the future powers of The Pensions Regulator in order to prevent the unreasonable withholding of discretionary increases that have previously been promised to the employees.

We have seen the Government take vigorous steps to censure Sir Philip Green and the close odd ant of the legal loopholes he may have been exploiting. Whilst the circumstances are quite different. the harm being inflicted by HPE's actions is arguably more severe than the potential harm to BHS pensioners."

The Hewlett Packard Pensions Association represents 3500 pensioners but there are estimated to be up to 100,000 pensioners in the UK facing similar circumstances due to the current loophole in the law. They made their appeal in a letter to the Pensions Minister sent a week after the even in the House of Commons. 

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