Thomas Cook Pension

Thomas Cook

The not entirely unexpected announcement that Thomas Cook has gone into liquidation, cancelling all flights immediately today, raises inevitable questions about the Thomas Cook Pension.

Not another British Steel fiasco

We are all too aware of the ‘factory gating’ of the British Steel Pension members  and the fallout from that, so our concern is that disgruntled ex-employees may be targeted to transfer.

In essence no-one should be transferring from the Thomas Cook Pension scheme until they have received a personal recommendation and advice, preferably from one firm doing both the advice and the ongoing investment (That avoids a lot of the issues that were had with British Steel).

Latest news (updated as we know more)

While the Thomas Cook Pension is supposed to be in surplus, there is a possibility that it will be assessed for entry to the Pension Protection Fund. During an assessment, transfers out are not allowed unless requests are received beforehand- and only then with the agreement of the scheme trustees.

If this does happen, members of the Thomas Cook Pension should be aware that the assessment can take months, to a few years!

Thomas Cook Pension

As we understand it, there are four pension schemes and there are approximately 13,000 members of the Thomas Cook Pension in total, over 3,000 of whom have retired. Many will want advice and, if covered by the PPF during assessment, the retirees will receive their pension as normal and new retirees will receive 90% of their pensions- subject to the current cap.

What might happen?

There is always the possibility that the trustees, given the surplus, may elect for an insurance solution with a deferred annuity.

No doubt, by the time this blog is posted, there will be new information available about the Thomas Cook Pension.

The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up to date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not accept any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.


This article was published on 23rd August 2019


Chris Lean

Chris is a Chartered Financial Planner who writes blogs and articles to simplify and explain some of the financial issues that affect UK expats. Subjects include; hot topics, regulation and the ever-changing world of finance.

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