ASW workers still fighting for pension compensation

Allied Steel and Wire (ASW) workers are still waiting for compensation for their lost pensions, despite reaching a deal with the UK government in 2007.

The case, tabled in the Welsh National Assembly yesterday (23 January) by Plaid Cymru member for South Wales West AM, Bethan Sayed, has been ongoing since the closure of ASW in 2002.

It was found that there was a £21m shortfall in workers’ pension pots and Sayed urged a debate to affirm the National Assembly’s commitment to fair treatment for ASW pensioners and others in the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).

ASW workers reached an agreement in 2007 with the former UK government that workers would be “granted the same treatment as workers and pension scheme holders under the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and the FAS”.

The FAS does not inflation proof pension contributions made prior to 1997, does not fully index for inflation for contributions made after 1997 and includes a payments cap. This has resulted in a loss in the value of pensions for many in the FAS, including the ASW campaigners.

Sayed’s National Assembly motion sought assurances that the UK government would “honour the spirit of the commitments the previous UK government made to ASW workers in Wales”, along with acknowledging that the case was still ongoing.

It also intended for the National Assembly to note that “under law changes since 2004, workers under the PPF and FAS are entitled to be paid up to 90 per cent of their pension contribution value”.

The motion passed unopposed and campaigners hope that it will be put back on the political agenda.

Commenting on the case, Sayed said: “We must remember that pensions are not a golden parachute or a thank you bonus – they are a deferred salary.

“They are contributions made by employees, some made over decades, with the expectation that they would then receive retirement security and the money they paid into the system.

“Instead, hundreds of workers are spending their retirements campaigning for justice.

“What’s happened to these campaigners is an outrage. It’s an outrage born with the legislation that introduced the FAS and an outrage that’s not been corrected by any UK government since.

“It’s not right that just because some time has passed, that we can ignore what’s happened, because these campaigners are here and with us now, they are still living with the consequences of the injustices they have suffered.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

New
New
New

The modern age
Deputy editor Natalie Tuck chats to the ABI’s Yvonne Braun about her work at the ABI and her thoughts on key pension topics

Stepping into the spotlight
Laura Blows speaks to Laird R. Landmann, group managing director and co-director of fixed income at US-based TCW, about the opportunities TCW can provide for UK pension funds