15 pension schemes fall victim to provisional liquidation of sponsoring employers

Six pension and finance companies, involved in the operation of occupational pension schemes, have been placed into provisional liquidation by the High Court.

Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, six firms including Fast Pensions Ltd, which is the sponsoring employer of 15 pension schemes and FP Scheme Trustees Ltd, which is the trustee of the pension schemes, have been placed into provisional liquidation.

The additional four companies (Blu Debt Management, Blu Financial Services, Blu Personal Finance and Umbrella Loans) are firms that some of the pension funds have been invested into.

After an application issued by the Insolvency Service on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the High Court put the six companies into this position on 29 March 2018.

On the same date the Official Receiver was appointed as provisional liquidator of the companies by a High Court judge HHJ Pelling. The Official Receiver will be responsible for protecting the schemes and its assets.

In addition, it will take steps to protect investments and assets belonging to the pension schemes, but will not be able to make investment decisions, provide updates regarding individuals’ pensions or authorise transfers or payments out of the schemes. Also, the Official Receiver is unable to provide advice to pension members regarding their funds.

Rather, affected scheme members seeking advice are encouraged to consider contacting a solicitor, a regulated financial adviser or The Pensions Advisory Service.

Petitions to wind up the companies have also been presented under section124A of the Insolvency Act 1986. The case is now dependent on High Court action and no additional information will be available until petitions are considered in the High Court on 30 May 2018.

The 15 pension schemes involved in the case are Broughton Retirement Plan, DM1 Retirement Plan, Elphinstone Retirement Plan, EP1 Retirement Plan, Fleming Retirement Plan, FP1 Retirement Plan, FP2 Retirement Plan, FP3 Retirement Plan, Galileo Retirement Plan, Golden Arrow Retirement Plan, Leafield Retirement Plan, Springdale Retirement Plan, Talisman Retirement Plan, Templar Retirement Plan, VRSEB Retirement Plan.

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