CHRISTMAS brings special cheer for the ex-Ravenhead workers who lost their pensions when the company went bust a decade ago.
Now they have now been promised 90 per cent of the pension rights they built up before 1997, subject to a £26,000 limit.
St Helens North MP Dave Watts told the Star that the government has rubber-stamped a £2.9 billion rescue package, which could affect up to 140,000 ex-workers.
He said the new financial aid package, which should come into force next year when a new Pension Bill is passed, would allow workers to take a 25 per cent cash lump sum from their pension at retirement.
He added that the scheme would also enable workers to apply for early or ill health retirement after the age of 60 and would provide a 50 per cent windows pension.
Watts, who has been campaigning on the issue for several years, said: "I am delighted that we now have a deal which will provide justice for the Ravenhead workers and their families and will allow them to plan for the future."
Mike Marsden, a member of the Ravenhead Pensions Action Group, said justice was finally being done.
He said: "Obviously we're very pleased with this development - it's something we've been striving to achieve for many years. Many of us have attended numerous rallies and demonstrations just to get to this point."
He added: "Since 2004, the government has offered compensation packages to workers like us of up to 90 per cent. But, as Ravenhead collapsed in 1997, we didn't qualify under that legislation. Now we're finally going to get the compensation we deserve."
- What do you think about the rescue package that the government is offering ex-Ravenhead workers? Comment on this story below or send us a letter to: St Helens Star, 23A Hardshaw Street, St Helens, WA10 1RT.