Altmann right to apologise, but must do more says Labour pensions shadow Thomas-Symonds

Labour pension shadow Nick Thomas-Symonds MP has waded into the row over pensions minister Ros Altmann’s attack on Hymans Robertson, demanding a full explanation of who loses from the transition to the new single-tier pension.

Thomas-Symonds applauded Altmann’s apology to Hymans Robertson for accusing it of ‘misleading’ statements and ‘scaremongering’ after the actuarial firm pointed out the potential losses different groups of the population will experience from the switch to the new single-tier pension system – which result in low earners who have never contracted out of state second pension (formerly Serps) lose up to 23 per cent of their state pension. He now wants the Department for Work and Pensions to explain precisely which groups will lose out as a result of the changes.

Thomas-Symonds says: “Baroness Altmann has done the right thing by apologising.  It was a serious mistake to accuse people of ‘scaremongering’ for raising entirely valid concerns about the prospect of the government’s new single-tier pensions disadvantaging many low income workers.

“We now need more than just an apology from the Minister.  That is why Labour is calling for the government to come clean about those who stand to lose from the single-tier pension.  It is clear that there are a number of groups who will lose out, the very least that people affected deserve is clarity, transparency and honesty. Labour will be standing up for people on this issue, making sure Baroness Altmann and the DWP is held to account.”