UNIONS are stepping up pressure on the Government to compensate workers left with worthless pensions due to company insolvency.
Research from Amicus and the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation shows that the cost of compensating up to 60,000 workers could be just £76 million a year.
The unions launched the campaign after the high-profile collapse of steel firm ASW in 2002 left thousands of former staff without pensions. Ex-employees of contractors, including Ballast and Melville Dundas, which both failed in 2003, have also lost out.
The Government has introduced legislation to protect the pensions of staff yet to retire, but has not extended this to workers from firms already insolvent.
Pensions expert Dr Ros Altmann said: 'Compensation would be unlikely to cost more than £76 million a year - we spend £14 billion a year on tax relief for pension contributions for non-state pensions.'