Phoenix Four firm faces end of road with £10m claim over Rover pensions

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The Independent Online

Pension trustees acting on behalf of 6,500 former MG Rover workers are preparing a legal claim of up to £10m against the Phoenix Four's remaining firm.

Pension trustees acting on behalf of 6,500 former MG Rover workers are preparing a legal claim of up to £10m against the Phoenix Four's remaining firm.

This could force Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH) into administration and ensure that workers receive the lion's share of their pension payments.

On Friday, Independent Trustee Services (ITS), which took control of the MG Rover pension schemes in April, scored an early victory after it secured £1.7m in cash from PVH. The money will be transferred to a bank account for the benefit of the workers tomorrow.

However, two of the three schemes are prevented from entering the Government's Pension Protection Fund because PVH is still solvent.

ITS has asked actuaries to calculate PVH's liability on the two plans. This will be complete on 14 June, but a source estimated the figure would be up to £10m.

If PVH agrees to pay up, it may force the firm into administration as it may not have enough assets to cover the liability.

However, the trustees could decide to strike a deal with PVH under which it pays a lower sum to settle its liabilities, so preventing administration.

This way, the two MG Rover pension schemes could enter the Government's protection fund and more cash could be distributed to members.

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