UK - Community, the UK trade union, has claimed that Corus, the Anglo-Dutch steel manufacturer, has withdrawn a deadline for closing its DB scheme to new members.

The company - which is now a subsidiary of Tata Steel - announced in January that it was going to close the scheme, worth £9.8bn (€bn) as at end-March 2008, to new members. This announcement was made at the same time the firm said it planned to make 2,500 people redundant in the UK.

Corus has today confirmed that it is still in discussions with the trade unions Community and Unite, but declined to comment on any deadline.

However, a Community spokesman said: "We are in ongoing discussions with Corus about alternatives. We believe that there was a deadline initially, but the company heard of our concerns and has gone back to the negotiating table."

Once the DB scheme is closed, Corus intends to set up a DC pension scheme for new starters.

The British Steel Pension Scheme has 160,000 members, the majority of whom are retired.