UK - The UK Pension Protection Fund (PPF) confirmed that it has taken on 10 new schemes.
The almost 3,000 members of the schemes will now be able to draw guaranteed minimum payments from the lifeboat scheme, despite the insolvency of the parent company or in case the scheme is no longer able to offer even PPF-level pension payments.
The newly admitted schemes include Spooner Vicars pension scheme, part of the food manufacturer by the same name, the Strand Lighting Pension Plan, the Heveco Mushrooms Retirement Benefits Scheme, the Ferrotech Pension Scheme and the Ferrotech Supplementary Pension Scheme.
The remaining five schemes include the Crabtree Pension Scheme, the Emlyn Owen Engineers Retirement Benenfits Scheme, the Thomson (Builders Merchants) Pension & Life Assurance Scheme, the Zortech Group Retrement Benefits Scheme and the BSE Genex Co Staff Insurance Scheme, part of a commodity trading company.
The PPF has already paid out more than £236m in compensation and is guaranteeing minimum pension payments for 55,000 people.
Last year, it proposed a new method of calculating the levy paid by all pension schemes, setting it for three years from 2012/13.
While the PPF argued this would allow schemes to anticipate costs fully, critics have since argued that it penalises those who reduce their risk after the initial three-year window has begun.
Lynda Whitney, principal consultant at Aon Hewitt, at the time accused it of moving the goal posts for schemes attempting to lower their risk exposure.
For 2011/12, it aims to collect £600m in total fees, a reduction meant to take the switch from the retail price index to the consumer price index into account.
Barnett Waddingham late last year warned that, due to the way the risk-based levy is calculated, some schemes could see their contributions double over 2011/12.