UK - A Labour MP has attacked the "blue-eyed boy" trustee system of failing pension scheme members and wants the whole structure reformed.
MP David Stewart claims US oil rig giant McDermott is using money from the pension scheme of a UK subsidiary to contest the ownership of a £30.7m surplus.
The move comes after staff rejected a deal which would have seen them retain 35% of the surplus through enhanced benefits.
McDermott – which has put the scheme at the defunct Ardersier oil fabrication yard into wind-up – now faces a legal battle with more than 3000 scheme members over the surplus.
But Stewart says the US firm is “dipping into the surplus” to pay for top lawyers to fight its case.
Stewart – MP for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber – said the case illustrated that the system was failing scheme members over surplus rights.
“The strength and the big battalions are always on the side of the employer when it comes to surplus. Court cases come down in favour of the employer and they are able to fund legal advise with surplus.”
Stewart blames the trustee structure which, he says, needs root and branch reform.
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