UK - The 3,500 members of the £170m defined benefit Ilford Pension Scheme are currently in a state of limbo as the Independent Trustee Services (ITS) appoint Mercer Human Resourcing to run its administration services.
The closed scheme is currently bering run by ITS after the company, Ilford Imaging, hit financial difficulties. Ilford Imaging went into receivership in August 2004. The ITS subsequently appointed Mercer to provide closed fund administration services if the scheme winds up or enters a PPF assessment period. Costas Yiasoumi, principal at Mercer, said: “The scheme is in wind-up mode but it hasn’t technically triggered wind-up yet. Its running on a frozen basis. Its in a limbo situation. The company is still trading but essentially the business was sold - and the old Ilford [Ilford Imaging] company isn’t trading, but the business and a large number of employees is still there and on site.”
ITS MD, Chris Martin added: “We don’t know at this stage what the future of the scheme will be. It’s closed to new entrants and new members because the company is in receivership.
“Members have made separate arrangements not related to the Ilford Scheme - that’s between Harman Technology, the new owners, and its current employers.”
Lynda Scales at the Ilford Pension Scheme said: “There’s three options at the moment. It will continue to run as a closed fund. It could go into wind up - which means all benefits would be bought out, if possible, with an insurance company or it would enter PPF assessment period and then enter the Pension Protection Fund.”
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.