Jan 13 Tata Steel Ltd has offered to
pay hundreds of millions of pounds to its pension scheme to
release a guarantee the fund holds over its Dutch assets, as the
Indian firm moves closer to merging its European assets with
Germany's Thyssenkrupp, the Financial Times reported.
The pension fund's trustees have a right over the assets in
Tata's Ijmuiden plant in the Netherlands in certain
circumstances, the FT said.
Tata Steel and the fund were in meaningful talks and there
was an improved offer for the release of the security package,
FT said citing chairman of the scheme's trustee board, Allan
Tata Steel was not immediately available for comment.
Last month, Tata Steel UK offered British unions a deal
guaranteeing jobs and investment in return for pension cuts.
Tata, which employs some 4,000 people at Port Talbot and
11,000 in Britain as a whole, started formal pension
consultations in December, with a view to moving employees on to
a less generous defined contribution scheme.
Unions are concerned that if they agree to let Tata close
the current British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS), the company
will look to spin it off into a standalone entity that could
eventually fall into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) if
In March, Britain battled to save its steel industry after
Tata Steel put its British operations up for sale, leaving
thousands of jobs at risk as a result of cheap Chinese imports.
(Reporting by Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by