Defined Benefit  

Pension company backing 15 schemes collapses

Pension company backing 15 schemes collapses

A pension company acting as sponsoring employer for 15 retirement schemes has been placed into provisional liquidation alongside five other firms associated with it.

Fast Pensions and the trustee of the schemes, FP Scheme Trustees, were placed under the special measure following an investigation by the Insolvency Service and a hearing at the High Court on 29 March.

The Official Receiver has been appointed the provisional liquidator, meaning it is responsible for protecting the companies' assets until petitions to wind them up have been determined.

The remaining four companies are entities into which some of the pension scheme funds have been invested, including Blu Debt Management, Blu Financial Services, and Blu Personal Finance, and Umbrella Loans.

Fast Pensions has been embroiled in a number of conflicts with the Pensions Ombudsman in recent years.

In one case in 2017, involving delayed death benefits payments to a former client’s widow, the ombudsman called its service “maladministration”, while revealing the case was not the first of its kind.

Karen Johnston, deputy pensions ombudsman, said at the time: “We have dealt with a number of other cases recently involving Fast Pensions, where there have been continued failures to respond to requests and payment/transfer applications. 

“Fast Pensions has also failed to communicate effectively with this office.”

The liquidation of Fast Pensions and the remaining firms is now subject to High Court action with petitions to wind up the companies heard on 30 May.

The provisional liquidator has the power to investigate the affairs of the companies with a view to protecting the assets, including any third party or trust monies.

It will now take steps to protect the investments and assets in the pension schemes but will not make investment decisions during the period of appointment.

It is also unable to provide updates on individual pensions or authorise transfers out.

However, it is asking members of the pension schemes to register their interest by email to piu.north@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk providing their name, contact details, the pension scheme and the date and amount of their investment.

The 15 pension schemes involved are:
Broughton Retirement Plan
DM1 Retirement Plan
Elphinstone Retirement Plan
EP1 Retirement Plan
Fleming Retirement Plan
FP1 Retirement Plan
FP2 Retirement Plan
FP3 Retirement Plan
Galileo Retirement Plan
Golden Arrow Retirement Plan
Leafield Retirement Plan
Springdale Retirement Plan
Talisman Retirement Plan
Templar Retirement Plan
VRSEB Retirement Plan

carmen.reichman@ft.com