23 Dec 2013

GPG reviews pension scheme notices

1:19 pm on 23 December 2013

Guinness Peat Group (GPG) says the British Pensions Regulator has issued long-awaited warning notices on two of its pension schemes.

GPG says its board is reviewing the notices against its Brunei Holdings Pension Scheme and the Staveley Industries Retirement Benefits Scheme and will have an opportunity to make submissions to the regulator.

The regulator will then decide whether or not to proceed with a recommendation to issue a Financial Support Direction against GPG.

The company says it's too early to be certain that any such direction will be issued or how much support will be required if it is issued.

The next step in the process after a Financial Support Direction has been issued is a hearing by the regulator's Determinations Panel and GPG says that hearing is unlikely to take place earlier than the second half of 2014.

The regulator has yet to conclude an investigation into a third GPG scheme, the Coats Pension Plan.

Coats is the only investment GPG has left and the pensions issue is the only thing stopping GPG from being wound up.

Earlier this month, the GPG board complained that the regulatory intervention is hindering rather than assisting a settlement.

It also complained about the enormous cost and management effort which the regulatory intervention is imposing on GPG.