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170 staff lose benefits as DB scheme is wound up

An insolvent Edinburgh engineering firm has wound up its final-salary pension scheme leaving over half its 230 members with no benefits.

A £6m hole in Blyth & Blyth Consulting Engineers&#39 scheme leaves 170 deferred members without any pension and 60 retired members facing a cut in their existing pensions.

One member who retired after the firm collapsed has lost all his benefits after 30 years&#39 service.

The plight of the firm led Scottish Equitable pensions development director Stewart Ritchie at Money Marketing Live this week to call for urgent Government action to change the priority rules on scheme wind-ups.

Blyth & Blyth went intoliquidation last January in part due to the cost of funding its pension scheme.

Punter Southall principal Andy Scott has been appointed as an independent trustee to oversee the wind-up of the scheme while an independent actuary will conduct an investigation into admin of the scheme.

Scott says: “Maybe it needs something like this to make the Government sit up and take notice. We need concerted action for a speedy change to the priority rules.”

Scottish Equitable pensions development director Stewart Ritchie said: “This is worse than the ASW situation.

“Here, deferred members are losing 100 per cent of their benefits. The Government cannot ignore this problem, next time it could be a household name.”

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