Former MG Rover workers could be forced to wait up to two years to discover if they will receive compensation for pensions feared lost when Longbridge shut down.
The Government's new pensions safety net revealed yesterday it was looking at the carmaker's schemes to assess whether members will qualify for compensation.
The Pension Protection Fund said the company's two pension schemes entered an assessment period on August 31.
The PPF will now look at whether the schemes can be rescued or if they have sufficient assets to pay pensions to their members which would be at least equal to the money they would receive from it.
The assessment period is expected to take at least a year, and could take as long as two years.
Phil Hanks, aged 40, who worked in the paintshop at Longbridge before being made redundant, said a wait of two years would be too long.
He said: "It is good news that the pension scheme has been admitted to the scheme, but it is hardly surprising it is going to take so long to assess it.
"Everything about the company is complicated and seems to drag on and on. I didn't expect the pension situation to be any different.
" But as long as the compensation is paid at the end of the assessment period, that is the most important thing.
"Even if it is only 92 per cent of the total, it is better than nothing. People should get something, after all they have paid into the pension scheme for all the years they worked there.
"But really I would like to see this resolved more quickly. Two years seems far too long."
In the meantime, the schemes will continue to be administered by their trustees, who will keep paying pensions to people who have already retired and will start paying them to members when they reach retirement age.
The MG Rover Group Pension scheme has just over 6,000 members who have not yet reached retirement age and 232 pensioners, while the MG Rover Group Senior Pension Scheme has 96 deferred members and four people who are retired.
The PPF was set up in April to provide a safety net to people who lose their company pension through their employer going under.
The scheme, which is funded through a levy on all final salary pensions, is currently looking at 15 other company schemes to assess whether members will qualify for a payout.
The Rover schemes were multi-employer schemes and they were not able to go into the PPF's assessment period until all the sponsoring companies were either insolvent or had paid their share of the pension scheme debt.
This happened at the end of August when Phoenix Venture Holdings paid its share of the debt and withdrew from the schemes. If the schemes are eligible, the PPF will pay 100 per cent of the pension to which members who have already reached the schemes' retirement age are entitled.
It will pay 90 per cent of the benefits people would have received when they are 65 if have not yet reached this age, up to a maximum of £25,000 a year.
Independent Trustee Services, which acts as trustee for the Rover schemes, said members' pensions would be paid in line with the levels they could receive from the PPF during the assessment period.
Chris Martin, managing director of ITS, said: "We are delighted that we have been able to confirm to members that the schemes have now entered a PPF assessment period.
"For the majority of the members the PPF will provide benefits at a significantly higher level than the schemes could afford based on their funding positions."
He said that PPF compensation would be worth more than £190 million for the main scheme and around £2.5 million for the senior scheme.
ITS said the two pensions had a combined debt of £496 million, of which Phoenix Venture Holdings was liable for £1.7 million, and had already made a prepayment of £50,000.