SCOTLAND - A Scottish engineering firm has been forced into receivership because of "an insurmountable deficit" in its pension fund.
Blyth & Blyth put its £11m scheme into wind-up last December because it could not afford to plug the £6m deficit.
But it has emerged that winding-up costs meant the firm had no option but to close down.
Punter Southall principal Andy Scott, who is the independent trustee to the Blyth & Blyth Pension Scheme, said only the 55 members who retired before December 2002 would definitely receive any money from the fund.
The rest – some 200 deferred members – “will potentially lose their entire pension”.
He said: “Blyth & Blyth had a £6m deficit and it was part of the reason why the firm went bust.
“This is the first case I’ve dealt with where there is little to no cash left for members. One member here who was due to retire after 30 years’ service has been left with nothing but his voluntary contributions”.
OPAS chief executive Malcolm McLean said: “Just about every other week we hear heart-rending stories like this.
“The Blyth & Blyth case is particularly bad, but I suspect that it won’t be long before many others go the same way.”
Association of Consulting Actuaries chairman Gordon Pollock stressed that the current situation was not sustainable.
“The government needs to immediately bring forward the 2007 rules and change the priority order so that if there’s pain, it is more equally shared.”
*Blyth & Blyth trustees have called in an independent actuary to examine the scheme’s account to determine exactly what happened to the fund.
The scheme’s 200 deferred members are also exploring a number of legal avenues in the hope of recovering their lost pensions.
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