Tata Steel is set to offload its £15bn pension fund this week, according to reports.
The deal to separate the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) from the business, which was agreed last month, could be sealed as soon as tomorrow, the Sunday Times reported.
Under the regulated apportionment arrangement (RAA), a rarely used restructuring arrangement, the Indian-owned firm will cut ties with BSPS.
In return, the BSPS, which supports around 130,000 members, will receive £550m from Tata Steel and a 33 per cent equity stake in Tata's UK steel operations.
Steelworker members of the BSPS will be given the option of joining a new Tata scheme paying lower benefits or entering the Pension Protection Fund. Either option would give members less generous benefits.
The move could pave the way for a merger between Tata and German company Thyssenkrupp, since the pension scheme was seen as a key sticking point to any agreement.