Hundreds set for pension windfall

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Hundreds of former workers at what was once one of the biggest employers in the city could be in line for a major payout from unclaimed pension funds.

Former employees of United Technologies have been contacted by a financial services company to tell them they may be entitled to pension benefits. The company have also said many other former workers may not be aware that they are entitled to pension benefits and some could be entitled to a five figure sum.

The United Technoloies plant was based at Bligh’s Lane, and was generally known in the city as the ‘Essex factory’. The company made wireless harnesses for the Ford motor company.

At its height the company had a workforce of more than 1,000 employees in the city.

A spokesperson for the firm handling the pension claims, Towergate Financial, appealed to anyone who thinks they may be entitled to a payment to contact the firm.

“If you were employed by United Technologies Automotive (UK) Limited between 1980 – 1999 it is possible you may have pension benefits in the United Technologies Automotive (UK) Limited Pension Scheme insured with Equitable Life.

“We are aware of the majority of members of the plan and they will have received an annual statement from Towergate Financial in the past year. These people do not need to contact us as we are already aware of their contact details.

“If you think you are a member of the plan and you haven’t received a statement within the last year, please contact Joy Devenney at Towergate Financial on 01476 560662,” the spokesperson said.

Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson also encouraged local people who worked at the factory over the years to check if they are entitled to pension benefits. “United Technologies was a major employer in the city for many years. I would call on any of the former employees to get in touch with this company to see if they are entitled to pension benefits for their years of service. Even if you are not sure if you are entitled it is worthwhile to check it out. Don’t wait for them to contact you,” she said.