Richard Burden welcomes extension to the Financial Assistance Scheme


Before Christmas the Government announced that the Financial Assistance Scheme would be extended. Richard Burden welcomed this announcement and the security it will bring to the 140,000 people who lost their pensions.

The Financial Assistance Scheme was introduced in 2005 to offer financial help to people who lost their savings when their employer-sponsored pension schemes collapsed. The scheme will now be extended so that all scheme members will be guaranteed 90 per cent of their accrued pension.

Speaking in the House of Commons debate on the Pensions Bill last week Richard drew attention to the importance of this settlement for the people who lost their pensions and thanked all those involved for their contributions.

He congratulated the current ministerial team of Peter Hain MP and Mike O’Brien MP for introducing a package of measures to bring about a lasting solution to the long standing injustice facing employees and former of employees of Kalamazoo in his Northfield constituency and members of other collapsed pension schemes.

Paying tribute to all those who worked to achieve the settlement, Richard said:

‘The matter says something about the way in which we achieve political change in this country. It was partly to do to Ministers and partly to do with colleagues in this place, who maintained the pressure, month in, month out and year in, year out; it was certainly to do with the unions, which kept up the pressure and the campaign from outside, and with the tireless campaigners outside this place. It is worth mentioning Ros Altmann and her campaigning. Her representations were not always comfortable, but she was tenacious and her commitment is unquestioned. Ros Altmann urged us for years to consider the position of the existing assets of the failed schemes and putting them to use. That became a vital part of the Young review.

‘Most of all, we need to thank and pay tribute to the members of the collapsed schemes. Kalamazoo, one of the firms whose pension fund collapsed, is in my constituency. Members of that pension fund and those of other schemes, such as that of ASW, put in effort at which many of us can only marvel at a time when they were worried about not only their futures but security in retirement for their families. They kept up the pressure and refused to take no—or even maybe—for an answer. People such as Peter Wheeler and Brian Mealings, former Kalamazoo employees, were at the centre of the campaign from the word go. It is right to pay tribute to them.’

Recent Posts

Richard Burden

Avatar photo

I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Get in touch

You can reach me by email at or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.