The pensions minister is now being urged to protect plumbers that could face bankruptcy following the worsening states of pension schemes.
Lenn Newman worked as a plumber for over 45 years. During that time, he took on and trained an apprentice. Then, when he was fully qualified, Newman entered him into the multi-employer pension scheme. In 2015, he eventually retired and stopped paying into the fund. However, a year later, he then received a bill of £80,000 stating he was liable as a former employer for a Section 75 Debt.
The only way he would have been able to raise this money though would have been by selling his house. He describes, “I was devastated, absolutely devastated.”
Newman was not the only one facing bills like this though. Apparently, eight hundred plumbers have potential obligations to help fund the Plumbing Pensions scheme. One small business describes that they have been issued an estimated debt of a whopping £850,000!
Another small business were unaware of the Section 75 Debt. Now, they have been told that this debt could result in the loss of all of their personal assets.”
When Baroness Ros Altman was government minister though, she apparently pushed for a change in the law. She described: “these plumbers paid into the scheme, they paid what the trustees asked them to pay over time and they had no idea that they weren’t paying enough for their legal obligations.”
She also described the effect it has upon people. “One or two have already had a nervous breakdown over it.”
So what do you think? Are you worried that this could have an impact upon you? Or have you already been a victim of the shocking unknown debt? Let us know in the comments below.