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Last Updated: Friday, 3 September, 2004, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Fears grow over T&N pensions
Dick Croft, Amicus union
Dick Croft of Amicus has been negotiating on behalf of workers

BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 4 September, 2004 at 1204 BST.

The programme was repeated on Sunday, 5 September, 2004 at 2102 BST.

The fate of 40,000 Turner and Newall (T&N) pension scheme members remains uncertain after an offer from its parent company, US engineering firm Federal Mogul, was rejected by independent trustee Alexander Forbes.

The fund administrators - Kroll Associates - and the trustee, believe the scheme would benefit more from a sale of the firms UK assets than the $130m Federal offer.

However the US company - currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection - is standing firm, confident that any pricing of its assets will prove the offer to be a good one.

A UK asset sale is likely to prove unpopular with unions.

If the scheme were wound up now it would have a deficit of 875m, which will have catastrophic effects on its members, some of which might receive 70% less than they were promised.

Louise Greenwood visited Chapel en le Frith, one of T&N's largest plants, where she talked to employees about the latest developments.

And Paul Lewis spoke to Malcolm McLean, Chief Executive of the Pensions Advisory Service about the crisis.

Further information:

DTI rejects interest rate cap

The government has announced it will not impose a cap on interest rates for credit deals, following a report which found it could have a negative effect on low-income groups.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) report discovered borrowers in countries which do impose a cap were more likely to default on their loans and were also more likely to turn to unlicensed or illegal lenders.

Many consumer groups have welcomed the government's decision. But Damon Gibbons, Chairman of the Debt on our Doorstep Campaign explained why he disagreed.

Paul Lewis took Mr Gibbon's concerns to Consumer Minister Gerry Sutcliffe.

Further information:

Interest rates

Chris A'Court reviewed mortgage and savings rates following summer rate rises.

Further information:

Pru launches new 'with-profits' bond

Insurance giant Prudential has announced it is launching a new kind of "with-profits" bond.

Millions of people were sold similar products in the past believing them to be a low-risk way of benefiting from rising share prices.

But poorly performing markets led to the often complex products failing, leaving thousands of investors out of pocket.

Prudential Chief Executive Mark Wood joined us to explain how the new product differs; and investment analyst Patrick Connolly of John Scott & Partners assessed its chances of success.

Further information:

Producer: Louise Greenwood
Presenter: Paul Lewis

Money Box



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03 Sep 04  |  Moneybox


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