UK - More than 300 Northern Ireland scheme members face massive cuts in their pensions after their firm - majority-owned by the Irish government - closed down.
The Northern Ireland workers are angry that their counterparts across the border will get a better pensions deal – and are now taking their plight to parliament.
The £24.8m Richardsons Fertilisers Pension Scheme was put into wind-up after its parent company, Irish Fertilisers, was closed down last year.
The Irish government chose to wind-up the scheme under UK law and only fund it to the minimum funding requirement, leaving members with cuts of up to 80% in their entitlement.
The final salary scheme is currently £15.6m in deficit.
But Liberal Democrat trade and industry spokesman Vincent Cable believes the Irish government has a “strong moral obligation and a political commitment” to fund the scheme in full.
“This was the only major cross-border investment in Northern Ireland and it was partly supported for political reasons,” he explained.
Deferred pensioner Hugh Ferguson, who is 58, has been told his pension will be slashed to 20% of its expected value.
He said: “Where we feel most aggrieved is that we understand that our counterparts in the Republic of Ireland have got full pensions, because the funding in their scheme will give them 100% of what they are due.”
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