Sackers obtains first Financial Support Direction (FSD)
SACKERS OBTAINS FIRST FINANCIAL SUPPORT DIRECTION for the SEA CONTAINERS 1983 PENSION SCHEME
In the first case of its kind, the Determinations Panel of the Pensions Regulator has ruled that Sea Containers Ltd should be subject to a Financial Support Direction (FSD) to bolster the financial condition of its two UK defined benefit pension schemes with 1300 members.
The financial support direction, a power which was given to the Pensions Regulator two years ago but which has never been exercised before, means that the parent company will now be liable for the service company’s pension liabilities and provides additional support to the pension schemes’ claims in the Chapter 11 process.
The trustees of the pension schemes, including the independent trustee company, Aspen Trustees Limited, filed submissions with, and appeared before, the Determinations Panel in support of the issuance of an FSD.
Specialist pensions law firm, Sacker & Partners LLP, advised the trustees of the larger (1983) pension scheme. The team consisted of Nicholas Couldrey, Peter Murphy and David Saunders, all specialists in the pensions field. Simon Price of Hammonds law firm advised the 1990 scheme.
Nick and Simon commented:
"Two years ago Parliament granted to the Pensions Regulator new power to protect the rights of UK pensioners. The trustees of the UK pension schemes are pleased that the Pensions Regulator has determined to exercise that power for the first time in the Sea Containers case and that the Determinations Panel has decided to move forward with the process of a financial support direction to protect members’ interests".
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