Ex-Norton Motorcycles boss to be prosecuted over pension investments

Former owner of Norton Motorcycles, Stuart James Garner, is to be prosecuted for illegally investing money into the business from three pension schemes for which he was the sole trustee, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed.

Garner is accused of breaching Employer Related Investment (ERI) rules by investing more than five percent of assets from each scheme into his business, Norton Motorcycle Holdings Ltd.

The alleged offences related to three defined contribution (DC) schemes, Dominator 2012, Commando 2012 and Donnington MC, which have a total of 227 scheme members, with Garner accused of using funds from these pension schemes to purchase preference shares in his own company between 2012 and 2013.

However, it is a criminal offence to invest more than five per cent of the current market value of scheme resources in ERIs, as set out in Regulation 12(2) of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005.

As such, Garner has now been summoned to appear at Derby Magistrates’ Court on 15 November charged with three separate ERI offences under Section 40(5) of the Pensions Act 1995, with one charge in relation to each scheme involved.

The Work and Pensions Committee previously wrote to TPR with further questions on its plan of action following the "shocking" case, after The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) upheld a complaint from affected members and Dalriada Trustees.

In its decision, TPO ordered the former director to repay all the money he had invested into his own firm from the company pension schemes, with Garner subsequently denied permission to appeal the £14m pension scheme repayment.

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