1. ITV Report

Documents signed to secure 'sustainable' pensions for steelworkers

The final move to secure the pensions of tens of thousands of steelworkers has been announced, ending any fresh doubts about future payments.

Credit: PA Images

Steel giant Tata gave details of a new scheme to replace the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).

Workers voted earlier this year to accept lower benefits in return for investment which will secure jobs.

Finalising the pension agreements is expected to clear the way for Tata to merge its European steel business with German firm Thyssen Krupp.

Tata Steel UK said it had signed the documentation for a so-called regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA) with the Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme, offering 'more sustainable outcomes' for pensioners, employees and the business.

When the RAA takes effect the British Steel Pension Scheme will be separated from Tata Steel UK and a number of affiliated companies.

The steel trade unions, community, Unite and GMB said in a statement: "We welcome the RAA announcement 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".

Today’s news brings a welcome end to the uncertainty faced by 130,000 current and former steelworkers, their families and steel communities across Britain, including the thousands involved in the steel and connected industries in my Aberavon constituency.

The Port Talbot Steelworks is the beating heart of our local economy and community, so the past 18 months have been particularly tough for our town.

It is vital that Tata follow through on their £1bn investment plan to ensure Port Talbot and downstream sites remain at the leading edge of twenty-first century steel-making, to secure the future of both Port Talbot’s blast furnaces, and that the jobs guarantee placing the British workforce on the same footing as their Dutch colleagues, avoiding compulsory redundancies, is implemented.

These pension changes have been a bitter pill to swallow for the workforce and pensioners, but this is about securing the future of the British steel industry. And so there can be no equivocation from Tata when it comes to delivering on their side of the deal.

– Stephen Kinnock, Member of Parliament for Aberavon