The Pensions Regulator (the "Regulator") has issued several reports in relation to its involvement with the trustees, employers and the Pension Protection Fund ("PPF") in respect of three cases. They give a useful snapshot of the Regulator's approach in difficult restructuring and potential insolvency cases, but the legal and commercial issues will always require detailed consideration as each case is different:
- Kodak Pension Plan- this involved the purchase from Chapter 11 bankruptcy of parts of the business of the global Kodak group by the Kodak Pension Plan in exchange for the release of the Kodak group from its liabilities to the Kodak Pension Plan. A new pension plan was established and the majority of members accepted the offer to transfer to it and the original Kodak Pension Plan then went into a PPF assessment period;The UK Coal Operations Limited ("UKCOL") Sections of the industry wide Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme- the report explains the Regulator's role in facilitating the July 2013 restructuring of UKCOL's operations, following a fire which resulted in the closure of the Daw Mill mine. A restructuring was agreed under which the trustees gave up part of their claim against UKCOL as an unsecured creditor in return for the PPF securing interests in the new group and the deal also preserved the remaining business as a going concern;
- MG Rover Group Senior Pension Scheme- MG Rover Group Limited ("MGRG"), the principal employer of the Scheme, went into administration in 2005. A joint venture company, Capital, was established to acquire the loan book from MGRG. The Regulator believed that the loan book could have been acquired by a company within the MGRG group of companies, and issued a warning notice seeking the issue of a financial support direction against Capital. The Regulator considered it reasonable to issue the FSD because the acquisition of the loan book could have been structured so as to have benefited MGRG instead of Capital. A settlement was subsequently reached under which the Scheme received £8.085 million from Capital, which will enable the Scheme to wind up outside of the PPF.