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Visteon pensioners fight on as High Court beckons
FORMER workers at Visteon have vowed to fight until the very end as they fight to reclaim their pension at High Court.
Ex-workers have been fighting Visteon’s parent company Ford for compensation since 2009, when the firm – which had factories across Britain – went into administration.
Dennis Varney, a former employee, was due to testify to the judge as a test case but now all 1,400 affected employees will hear their cases tried as one. Mr Varney, worked for Ford for 31 years, before he was transferred to Visteon in 2000 and retired six years later.
Mr Varney, 62, of the Lindens, Langdon Hills, paid into Ford’s pension fund for 32 years, then into Visteon’s for a further five. After the company went under he lost thousands of pounds a year, meaning he was unable to spend his retirement as he had planned it.
He said: “My life changed significantly. I lost many thousands of pounds and that affects how you choose to spend your retirement. I would have loved to go on some holidays with my family. The only job I now have is fighting for my pension."
Paul Bailey, 64, of Wincoat Drive, Benfleet, spent 35 years with Ford and Visteon and said he was particularly concerned that the widows would lose out. He took voluntary redundancy with conditions in 2003 but carried on working for eight years afterwards on contract with Ford.
He said: “It changed everything for me. I obviously had to work for much longer than I anticipated and I wasn’t able to help with a number of other things I had planned. I wanted to help with their education but it is a kick in the teeth when all you had sorted in your mind. I wanted to enjoy retirement but it has been a constant fight."
Andy Belch, 65 from Shoebury, retired in July 2001, having worked for Visteon for just over a year. He only transferred his pension across four months before he left.
Mr Belch said: “The Visteon pension fund only started in March 2001. When they went into administration I had been retired eight years and because of their refusal to pay of pensions I have lost at least 20 per cent. “What about the widows as well? They will be hugely affected. If I was to die my wife would lose about £400 a month. We work all our life to provide for them and I question how my wife would be able to provide for herself if I wasn’t here. That is not the way it should be.”