UK - Blyth & Blyth scheme members face a protracted delay to find out if legal action against the former trustees and actuary will proceed.
Punter Southall, the scheme’s independent trustee, is currently locked in a legal dispute with three former Blyth & Blyth trustees - who were also company directors - 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 and Buck are responsible for the deficit.
Around 200 deferred members stand to lose all their benefits and PS director 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 next month.
Scott said that the trustees and Mellon had responded to the summonses it issued and warned it could be years before the case was finally settled - if it proceeded at all.
In a letter to members Scott said: ìDefences have now been received from all the parties involved and the case is in a period of adjustment during which time the parties set out more fully their respective positions, I am advised this period may take a few months, but it may be extended depending on how the case develops.
“It is now a matter for the current trustees and our legal advisers to sift through these responses and, if we then feel it appropriate, continue with the legal action. This could take some time, however, as the action being pursued is very technical and complex, and there is no precedent for it.”
Mellon denies any suggestion of wrongdoing. The three trustees were unavailable for comment.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) is in the process of convening an industry-wide group to take forward the work of the Institutional Disclosure Working Group (IDWG).
The Transfers and Re-registration Industry Group (TRIG) has given its support to an initiative which aims to complete occupational pension transfers within three weeks.
Scottish Widows has completed a bulk annuity deal for the Hitachi UK Limited Pension Scheme.