UNION officials have welcomed a resolution to pensions uncertainty affecting thousands of current and retired Rotherham steelworkers.
Community said the arrangement between Tata Steel and unions over the future of the £15 billion British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) would end long-standing uncertainty for the scheme’s 130,000 members.
The move will separate the BSPS from the Tata Steel business and allow for the creating of a new pension scheme, with members’ accrued benefits protected but smaller annual increases in pensions.
Members of the BSPS will have the option of switching to the new scheme (the new BSPS) or stick with the old BSPS and being compensated from the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).
A spokeman for community said: “We welcome theannouncement, which includes a commitment that Tata will stand behind a new scheme with reduced annual increases.
“For over a year our members have feared for their security in retirement, and this announcement helps to bring that uncertainty to an end.
“The company and the trustees must step up to provide the necessary information and guidance to enable every member to make an informed decision in their best interests.
“Our members have been extremely disappointed at the unacceptable lack of communication in recent months, and this has to change immediately.
“The company and the trustees must remember they are dealing with people's long term future, their life savings, and their family's financial security — it is vital members are given all the support that they need.”
Koushik Chatterjee, Tata Steel’s group executive director, described the agreement as it an “important milestone in Tata Steel UK's journey towards a sustainable and enduring future”.