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Pension Corp concedes on trustees

Pension Corporation has agreed to appoint only indepen- dent trustees to oversee thee Telent pension scheme after a six-month battle with The Pensions Regulator.

It has agreed not to allow anyone from the firm to be appointed as a trustee of any scheme in which it has a specified financial interest, without regulatory approval. TPR expressed concerns over the potential for “serious conflicts of interest” after Pension Corp made an offer for Telent in September 2007.

It said the potential for conflicts was increased because of the existence of a £514m escrow fund which would become available to Pension Corporation if a surplus of 105 per cent of liabilities was reached.

Pensions Corp partner Charlotte Crosswell says: “We have always been willing to engage with the regulator. There has been a lot of misunderstanding over the escrow account. There is a rule that means unless there is a significant surplus, we can’t take money out of the account.”

The Government has announced that TPR will be given new powers requiring employers to provide contributions to a pension scheme if their actions could threaten the security of members’s pensions.

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Central line

The correct target for the mortgage industry’s ire should be the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England, not HBOS, Nationwide or even HSBC, whether their short-term actions are good or bad, fair or unfair.

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