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Ex-Ballast staff push for pensions

NEARLY 1,000 ex-employees of collapsed contractor Ballast are urging the Government's pension regulator to take action against the company's former Dutch parent, Ballast Nedam.

Former Bal last UK staff have been left with just a quarter of their expected pension because of a £75 million deficit in the company's scheme. The firm failed in October 2003 when Nedam pulled its financial backing.

But the Ballast pension action group has been pushing for the Pensions Regulator, which was established last year, to use its range of powers against the Dutch company.

Doug Barrat, a former Ballast director, who was 18 months from retirement when the firm collapsed, said: 'We want the regulator to take action because there is obviously a huge amount of injustice here.

'We think the regulator would have a strong case against Ballast Nedam as the pension scheme was fully funded when they took over.'

The Pensions Regulator has the powers to take action against overseas companies through ordering financial support for under-funded pension schemes.

Ballast UK was dissolved in July this year and the regulator has up to a year to hit the Dutch firm with a claim.

A spokesman for the regulator said: 'We do have the ability to go after overseas companies and we will treat each case on its merits.'