Peace of mind for Maxwell pensioners

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The Independent Online
THE Maxwell Communication Works Pension Scheme will shortly virtually double the amount it pays to its pensioners, writes Paul Durman.

Although this will not alter the amount pensioners receive - their pensions have been made up to the full amount by money from other sources - Brian Tatch, chairman of the scheme's trustee company, said the move would give pensioners greater security and peace of mind.

The 11,000 members of the scheme have been the main beneficiaries of government help and the pounds 6m fund collected by Sir John Cuckney. But these sums could run out before the last of the pensioners dies.

The pension scheme's contribution will rise from 31 to 60 per cent of entitlements, and this is ensured for the lifetime of the pensioners.

Mr Tatch hopes further progress on resolving the competing claims on the Common Investment Fund can be made within the next month.

Mr Tatch criticised the City institutions that dealt with Robert Maxwell for failing to help the pensioners. The pension scheme is owed pounds 56m for Maxwell Communication Corporation shares that were sold through Goldman Sachs, the US investment bank.

'Whilst all of these powerful and wealthy organisations haggle over how best to keep out of it, many of our members are suffering great distress and hardship, and time is the one commodity that many of them do not have,' Mr Tatch said.