The SNP has called on the two Tory leadership candidates to reform pension and savings policy if they become Prime Minister after it emerged that there is £20 billion worth of lost pension pots in the UK.
SNP MP Mhairi Black has written a letter to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt urging them to fix the issue – before more pension pots become detached from their owners – through the creation of a pensions dashboard and an independent savings and pensions commission.
Research conducted by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) estimate that there are 1.6 million lost pension pots in the United Kingdom. This amounts to nearly £20 billion of unclaimed pension funds – the equivalent of nearly £13,000 per pot.
The SNP’s call for pension reform comes off the back of a rise in pensioner poverty as a result of harmful Tory austerity cuts, the Tories’ broken manifesto commitment to protect free TV licenses for the over-75s, and women born in the 1950s being denied their right to their state pension.
The SNP have led the call for urgent reforms of pension and savings policy to boost and protect retirement income, with SNP MPs being at the forefront of the WASPI, pension credit cut and unclaimed pension credit campaigns.
Commenting, Mhairi Black MP said: “The fact that there are about 1.6 million lost pension pots in the UK – amounting to nearly £20 billion of unclaimed pension funds – is yet another failing of this Tory government and quite frankly daylight robbery to allow the savings, rights and entitlements of citizens to go unclaimed and unpaid.
“My SNP colleagues and I have consistently argued for a fairer pension system that delivers dignity in retirement.
“The next Prime Minister, whoever it may be, must take action to deliver this and reform pension and saving policy – starting with creating a pensions dashboard and establishing an independent savings and pensions commission.
“Pensioner poverty has been an issue that has been ignored and downgraded by the Tory Government for too long.
“From the burning injustices facing the WASPI women who have been denied their right to their state pension to the stripping away pension credit for the over 75s, this Government’s attitude towards older people is diabolical.
“It is time the Tories took their responsibilities as a government seriously and prioritised the rights of pensioners and people who need to plan for old age instead of sitting on their hands.”