MPs question Govt on pensions

MPs from Wales last week tabled questions in Parl-iament querying whether the Government might be open to massive claims from UK pensioners with final salary schemes but insolvent employers

The MPs, backed up by a paper from Denton Wilde Sapte pensions partner Elmer Doonan, believe an EC directive has not been properly implemented. Doonan said: “When one looks at Article 8 of the EC directive, it appears to impose an obligation on the Government to protect pensions of employees who had left or were in service at the time of the insolvency.” Doonan added that a test case would confirm the question.

Julie Morgan MP, Labour member for Cardiff, and Adam Price MP, a Plaid Cymru pensions spokesman, are representing the interest of constituents made redundant when steel giant Allied Steel & Wire was forced into receivership.

Morgan said: “I used a debate on the steel industry to introduce the issue.” She said the Government said that it had until 2005 to implement the latest EU pensions directive. However, it has offered a meeting with the Department of Work and Pensions to discuss the issue further.