The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) will look to appoint a new administrator to oversee an investigation into the collapse of Laura Ashley, according to reports.
Sky News said today (14 May) that the PPF was looking to restructuring firm FRP Advisory to be installed in the role alongside PwC.
Over 1,500 Laura Ashley employees remain uncertain about their future following the 17 March collapse and then subsequent sale of the textile designer last month.
Laura Ashley's final salary scheme, which also offers defined contribution savings, was the first major scheme thought to be seeking support from the PPF following the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The textile designer had said the outbreak of the virus had "an immediate and significant impact on trading" and cashflow; the pension scheme had an estimated actuarial deficit of £15m and a funding level of 76% as of June 2019 with around two-thirds of assets invested in equities, which have taken a notable hit throughout 2020.
The PPF declined to comment.
Down again from March
Every month, several firms issue trackers of the aggregate defined benefit (DB) scheme funding position. See here for the April 2020 estimates on the various measures…
The Society of Pension Professionals (SPP) estimates only 5-10% of scheme sponsors will suspend or reduce contributions during the coronavirus pandemic while majority have no need to alter their payment schedules.
Around 50 advice firms have surrendered their pension transfer ‘gold standard’ status after running into issues renewing professional indemnity insurance (PII) on pension transfers, according to the Personal Finance Society (PFS).
The coronavirus pandemic is unlikely to curb pension scheme enthusiasm for buy-ins and buyouts, says Hymans Robertson.