A SOLIHULL MP has written to HSBC bank demanding compensation for people who have lost money in pension packages.
Julian Knight MP is supporting the so-called ‘Clawback campaign’ for the lost income to be returned from the bank.
Those affected by the bank’s ‘clawback’ of up to £2,500 a year from their company pension schemes have initiated the campaign.
Thousands of people – mostly lower paid staff and women – have had their pensions reduced due to the controversial yet legal so-called ‘clawback’ clause.
It allows the bank to reduce payments once the state pension starts being paid.
‘Clawback’ has affected mainly those who joined Midland Bank/HSBC as an employee between 1975 and 1996.
HSBC has branded it a ‘state reduction’ yet campaigners claim none of the money from these ‘clawbacks’ go to the state.
Mr Knight says dozens of residents have appealed to him for help on the issue.
He has written to Ian Stewart, managing director of HSBC, to suggest the bank makes compensation payments – as a matter of principle – to those facing disproportionately large cuts to their retirement income.
Mr Knight has also written to Guy Opperman, the government’s pensions minister, to suggest action which might help some of the most vulnerable people.
The compensation proposals are especially concerned with women who previously paid the married women stamp – who now face the clawback without any boost to their state pension.
Mr Knight said: “It isn’t right that people on low incomes who saved for their old age should have to face steep cuts to their pensions.
“Many local residents have been in touch with me about this issue, and I was very pleased to meet with the Midland Clawback campaign and hear their concerns first-hand.
“I have written to both HSBC and the minister to see what can be done to help those most severely affected by the claw-back and will report their answers back to those affected.”
A spokesperson for HSBC said: “Since the State Deduction was introduced in 1975, it has been consistently communicated in member guides, members’ annual pension statements and the deferred statements that members receive on ceasing active membership.
“We have a wide group of current and former employees and retrospectively increasing the benefits for this section of the scheme, which was non-contributory for all members from January 1975 until July 2009, could be seen as unfairly preferring this group of members over others.”