UK/EU - Steel workers' union ISTC is ready to launch a landmark case against the government.
The case is seen as the last great hope for thousands of ASW Pension Plan members who were hit when the company collapsed last year.
The ISTC and manufacturing union Amicus-AEEU believe the government has failed to implement a European directive which instructs member states to protect the old age benefits of employees and ex-employees in the event of company insolvency.
Both unions are looking to win compensation for 3000 members of the £119m ASW Pension Plan. They face cuts of up to 90% in their pensions entitlement after their employer went bankrupt in July.
If the action succeeds it could set a precedent which would make the government liable to pay compensation worth billions of pounds to employees left out of pocket when their pension schemes were wound up in deficit.
A source close to the unions – who declined to be named – said: “It’s an issue that affects all members.
“It’s well beyond the ideas stage, but they want to be sure of their grounds before they go to the government. We’re at the point where they will go for it.”
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has announced it will shrink its board by more than one-third as part of a governance overhaul to make it "agile and more appropriate".
Smaller FTSE 350 defined benefit (DB) schemes were nearly 15 percentage points less well-funded than larger schemes in 2017, according to a Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) analysis.
The advent of collective pension systems could help the UK avoid demographic challenges which will make it "impossible" for society to help savers in retirement, experts say.