UK - The Pension Compensation Board (PCB) has made a capital settlement of just over £2m to the Cheney Pension Scheme following a decision that the assets of the scheme had been reduced by £2.9m due to dishonest acts by the former trustees.
New trustee Independent Trustee Services (ITS), appointed by the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority in October 2000, welcomed the £2,376,754 settlement.
ITS engaged European law firm Taylor Wessing to trace and recover the assets, more than £1.3m of which has been recovered, and which are reflected in the settlement.
Commenting on the decision, Chris Martin, managing director of ITS, said: “At the time ITS was appointed only around £100,000 of the scheme’s assets remained invested in a ‘conventional’ way for a pension scheme.
“During our work to trace the assets, ITS and Taylor Wessing were amazed where some of these had ended up. A series of very large loans had been made to shell companies with cash then being withdrawn through various bank accounts.
“The cash was almost impossible to trace although we believe some of it has ended up outside of the UK.”
ITS said the former trustees had also used the scheme to purchase Cheney’s factory at a substantially inflated price and pay £55,000 from the scheme to a firm of bookmakers.
Martin added: “This has been a lengthy and complex case but it is clearly excellent news for the pension scheme that the PCB has decided to make the capital settlement to top up the assets recovered by ITS.”
CW Cheney & Sons Limited went into liquidation in 2001 following the controversy over its pension scheme. The scheme went into winding-up in May 2001.
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