The final move to secure the pensions of tens of thousands of steelworkers is set to be announced, ending any fresh doubts about future payments.
Steel giant Tata is expected to give details on Friday of a new scheme to replace the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS).
Workers voted earlier this year to accept lower benefits in return for investment which will secure jobs.
Finalising the pension arrangements is expected to clear the way for Tata to merge its European steel business with German firm Thyssen Krupp.
A spokesman for the steel trade unions told the Press Association: “If accurate, we welcome this development which will lead to certainty for scheme members following a year of unprecedented turmoil.
“Our members will now expect the trustees to provide all the information necessary to enable them to make the right decision for them and their families.”
A Tata Steel spokesman said “key commercial terms” of an agreement had been agreed in principle between the company and the BSPS after “prolonged and intense discussions” and negotiations with the BSPS, Pension Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund, the industry lifeboat for pensions.
“These parties are in positive discussions and we are hopeful of reaching a final agreement shortly.”