MP calls for action over the pension ‘predators’

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A YORKSHIRE MP is calling for Government action against “predatory” overseas companies who try to abandon their responsibilities to British pensioners.

Dan Jarvis, the Labour MP for Barnsley Central, is holding a meeting with the Pensions Regulator this month to express concern about delays in completing the investigation into the pension scheme at Carrington Wire, in Elland, West Yorkshire.

Around 500 former staff at Carrington Wire want the Pensions Regulator to take action to protect their pensions. Carrington Wire was closed by its Russian parent Severstal in 2010. It was later sold out of the Severstal Group.

Addressing a question to Pensions Minister Steve Webb in the Commons, Mr Jarvis said: “He is aware of my concern over foreign companies which have purchased and asset-stripped businesses in the UK. In some cases, these firms have discarded their pension responsibilities in such a way they have endangered the pensions that employees are entitled to.

“Can I ask the Minister to explain how he is working with The Pensions Regulator and colleagues in Government to curtail this predatory behaviour?”

Mr Webb said in the last year, the regulator had engaged with more than 1,100 schemes linked to overseas employers. He added: “Between April 2010 and August 2012, the regulator has exercised its powers on at least 10 occasions in relation to such schemes.”

Severstal declined to comment.