Defined BenefitSep 24 2018

Pension consolidator in talks with 12 schemes

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Pension consolidator in talks with 12 schemes

The Pension Superfund, a new defined benefit (DB) consolidation scheme, is in "well-developed conversations" with a dozen pension funds, its chief executive has said.

Luke Webster (pictured), who recently took the helm at the company, said a small number of these talks were "further along the line".

So far the consolidator has sparked interest from 20 to 30 final salary plans, Mr Webster said at the Society of Pension Professionals’ annual conference on Friday (21 September).

The Pension Superfund was launched in March, when plans were announced to create a vehicle to accept bulk transfers from DB plans and consolidate them into one occupational pension scheme.

At the time, Alan Rubenstein, who was head of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) until January, teamed up with city financier Edi Truell's Disruptive Capital and private equity investor Warburg Pincus to launch the new scheme, which had already lined up an initial £500m of capital.

But earlier this month it was announced that Mr Rubenstein was leaving the consolidator, and Warburg Pincus would also not continue to invest in the business at this stage.

The Pension Superfund is expected to announce its trustees and a range of senior appointments in the next few weeks as the business moves into the delivery and execution phase.

FTAdviser reported last week that The Pension Superfund – alongside Clara Pensions, the second consolidator being developed in the UK market – will pay a special levy to the pensions lifeboat fund.

They will both have their levy calculated using the methodology created by the PPF for zombie schemes.

Mr Webster said The Pension Superfund was looking forward to responding to PPF’s levy consultation.

He said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to engage in the development of an equitable and prudent framework to protect the interests of members and levy payers as a whole."

At the conference, Mr Webster agreed a new authorisation regime might be needed for pension consolidators, as The Pensions Regulator had previously suggested.