Thomas Cook: Insolvency

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Mike Amesbury Mike Amesbury Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to provide pension protection for Thomas Cook staff.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Thomas Cook schemes provide both Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit pensions.

Defined Contribution pensions are operated independently of Thomas Cook, with funds held separately. Pension pots will not be affected and will continue to be invested on behalf of the members. If there are unpaid pension contributions the Insolvency Service can make payments out of the National Insurance Fund within specified limits.

The Thomas Cook Defined Benefit pension schemes are protected by the Pension Protection Fund. These schemes are well funded and are able to continue to paying out pensions to their members. The Pension Protection Fund will assess whether it will need to take responsibility for payments in the future. Payments cannot be lower than the level of Pension Protection Fund compensation – which is 100% of pension for those currently above the scheme retirement age, and 90% subject to a cap for those who are younger, but this may be higher.

The trustees of the Defined Benefit pension schemes are in touch with members. The Pension Protection Fund has provided contact details if members have questions.

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