CARDIFF, Wales – A former steelworker in Cardiff, Wales, expressed outrage at the UK government’s inaction more than 20 years after over 1,000 people lost their pensions when the Allied Steel and Wire (ASW) plant went bust in 2002. The former workers have been fighting for the restoration of their pensions, which were lost when the company collapsed.
John Benson, a former ASW worker, accused the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) of attempting to cheat them out of their hard-earned pensions. He emphasized the workers’ frustration at the government’s refusal to take responsibility for the situation, despite their years of contributions to their pensions.
After ASW’s collapse, the UK government set up a scheme to ensure workers received up to 90% of their pensions. However, the pensions were not linked to inflation, causing the value to decrease over the years. The former workers argue that they are entitled to have the amount made up to include inflation, and for it to be backdated.
The plight of the ASW workers has caught the attention of Hywel Williams MP, who criticized the UK government for failing to protect the contributions from inflation. He described the denial of their full pensions as a betrayal by the government and urged them to reconsider their stance.
Pensions minister Paul Maynard defended the government’s position, stating that the information required to carry out the assessment for the pension restoration was not readily available. He assured the former workers that it was still an issue he was working on, despite the slow progress.
The ASW workers’ fight for justice highlights the ongoing challenges faced by individuals who have lost their pensions due to company collapses and government schemes. The failure to protect workers’ pensions from inflation has brought immense financial strain on the former employees, sparking calls for the government to address their concerns and take immediate action to restore the lost pensions.