Pensions in chaos after staff transfer

About 200 employees of a council-owned organisation that lost its
contract to help teenagers could have their company pensions
halved, it was feared last week.

Essex Careers & Business Partnership provided services for
Essex, Southend and Thurrock Connexions partnership. It has been
put into liquidation by Essex, Southend and Thurrock councils.

Most of the staff transferred to the new organisation, EST
Connexions, which has refused to take over the pension scheme. The
councils are not legally obliged to make up the majority of the
deficit. The pension trustees suggest the scheme could have a
shortfall of about £5.5m.

EST Connexions has decided to provide its services in-house after
the government cut its VAT compensation pot for partnerships that
used private service providers.

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