UK - The Pensions Regulator (TPR) on Friday appointed three independent trustees to the Telent pension scheme, which is to be bought by Edmund Truell's Pensions Corporation.

TPR had decided to appoint the new directors to the trustee board after the chairman of the trustees expressed concerns to the regulator.

IPE reported last month Telent, the UK telecoms equipment making arm of the Marconi group, agreed to a £400m takeover by Truell's pensions buyout company.

Stanhope Pension Trust, as the trustee firm appointed to the pension scheme, said in a statement it is concerned the buyout by the Pension Corporation, which is small in relation to the plan according to the trustees, could have "serious implications for the security and welfare" of the plan's members.

Chris Holden, chairman of the trustees, commented: "The trustee's priority remains the continuing security and welfare of our 60,000 members and the available protection of their £3bn of assets."

He added: "The additional funding and the creation of the escrow following the sale of the Marconi businesses to Ericsson in 2005 significantly improved the financing of the plan, and the appointment of the independent trustees will help determine the optimum way forward whilst protecting the position of our members."

Three independent trustees have been chosen from the TPR's trustee register and are Law Debenture Pension Trust Corporation, Burges Salmon Pension Trustees and Bridge Trustees.

These trustees will have sole control of the scheme for a period of six months.

A TPR spokeswoman said it is not unusual for the regulator to intervene in such a way: "In the past financial year the regulator has appointed 46 independent trustees," she told IPE.

Jonathan Seres, a partner at Sacker & Partners, adviser to the trustees of the pension scheme, sees the appointment of the trustees is a "timely and decisive move".

"It shows that the regulator will not simply watch from the wings when there is concern that a pension scheme may be at risk," said Seres.

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