UK - Independent trustees of the crippled Blyth & Blyth Pension Fund have cut pensions in payment by 40% due to the scheme's dwindling pool of assets.
The scheme’s independent trustee, Punter Southall, is currently locked in a legal dispute with three former Blyth & Blyth trustees as well as the former actuary, Buck Consultants, which was acquired by Mellon in 1997.
Blyth & Blyth’s £6m deficit was one of the principal factors behind the Scottish engineering company’s demise in December 2002 and Punter Southall believes the trustees – who were also company directors – and Buck are responsible for the deficit.
Around 200 deferred members stand to lose all their pension benefits and Punter Southall principal Andy Scott said that due to a combination of legal action and the scheme’s shrinking asset pool, retired members would have their pensions cut by 40% from October.
He added: “This is the mess we inherited and we’ve tried to play this as best we can.”
Scott has issued summonses against the trustees and Mellon but he said it could be years before the case was settled. Independent pensions expert Ros Altmann (pictured) urged the government to intervene as most members were unlikely to benefit from any compensation.
She said: “The government has got to sort this mess out straight away as a lot of these people will be dead before they see any help. They will die knowing their pensions have been cut by 40%.”
A spokesman for Mellon said: “Mellon is satisfied that Buck acted appropriately and with all reasonable care throughout the relationship.”
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