BPE in talks with TPR and PPF over ailing scheme

British Polar Engines (BPE) has entered into talks with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to resolve the long-term costs of its pension scheme.

It said that, despite years of additional contributions, its latest actuarial valuations found that its deficit was increasing again.

BPE, the main operating subsidiary of Associated British Engineering, has entered into discussions with the trustees, TPR and PPF to close of the cost of the scheme to BPE.

The firm's half-year report stated: “As part of those discussions, the board of BPE decided that they should engage FRP Advisory LLP to advise on negotiations with the trustees and TPR, and consider the future of the operating business of BPE including marketing it as for sale. This process is still ongoing.”

The directors of BPE have assessed the relevant estimates and assumptions, and decided that the pension scheme should be prepared under the solvency basis, which provides and estimate of the cost of transferring all liabilities to an insurer.

The basis has been derived in line with the s.143 basis prescribed by the PPF that was in force as of 1 April 2019.

The report concluded: “The board keeps the central costs of the group under review and maintains them at a very low level.

“There are some signs that sales opportunities are increasing again and we are working hard to convert them.

“The board is also working to ensure that its investments and cash in the business generate value for shareholders commensurate with the risk.

“The board continues to review options for the future development of the group.”

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