The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has launched an advisory panel to support trustees of schemes whose sponsoring employer is stressed or distressed.
The panel is designed to help improve the pre- and post-insolvency experience for both members and trustees, providing expert advice particularly where a scheme is expected to enter an assessment period.
The firms are: CVR Global; Dalriada Trustees; Deloitte; FRP Advisory; Independent Trustee Services; KPMG; Lincoln Pensions; Open Trustees; Punter Southall Governance Services; Smith & Williamson; and, 2020 Trustees.
They will advise on issues including covenant, restructuring, contingency planning, and moral hazard, and also provide transactional expertise.
PPF director of scheme services Sue Rivas said: "I'm very excited about the new panel we have created. We've broadened the range of services available for employers and trustees of defined benefit pension schemes where the employer is in a stressed or distressed situation.
"This panel of experts will supplement the trustees' own business as usual skills and experience. We very much hope this will lead to better member outcomes as well as extending our understanding of the issues that schemes experience pre-insolvency."
The 11 firms were chosen after a thorough selection process to ensure they meet the PPF's professional standards. They have also agreed to a set of terms and conditions and advantageous fee rates, the PPF said.
Trustees are able to appoint a recommended expert panellist at an earlier stage than previously, the lifeboat fund added, in order to get advice and guidance to help prevent insolvencies where possible and reduce claims on the PPF.
PPF director of restructuring and insolvency Malcolm Weir added: "We believe it is important that trustees have the expertise needed to protect schemes' interests and maximise the likelihood of delivering the best outcome for the scheme and the PPF. We encourage scheme trustees to recognise their knowledge gaps and to appoint a panel trustee and/or restructuring and insolvency adviser to support them with specialist advice as early as possible."
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