UK - Belgian company Michel Van de Wiele has agreed to inject £60,000 (€67,700) into the pension scheme of its bankrupt UK subsidiary after striking a deal with the pensions regulator.
A contribution notice issued in the UK today requires a cash injection into the Bonas Group Pension Scheme after Michel Van de Wiele put the subsidiary into receivership in 2006.
The parent company subsequently formed a new subsidiary with the business and assets of the old one but failed to take on its pension liabilities. In the meantime, the Bonas pension scheme entered the Pension Protection Fund.
Today's contribution notice - a device that allows the regulator to intervene when it believes an employer is avoiding its pension liabilities - is a significant reduction from the initial £5m notice issued in April last year.
Although a tribunal subsequently rejected Van de Wiele's attempt to strike the regulator's case, it today confirmed that a contribution notice could be issued when a business is sold "for a value at the lower end of a range of acceptable values to the disadvantage of the pension scheme creditor".
In a statement, Pensions Regulator chief executive Bill Galvin said the fact that a settlement had been reached in the Bonas case did not signal a change in the regulator's approach to avoidance activity.
He said: "We will investigate vigorously attempts to avoid pension liabilities and, where appropriate, we will not hesitate to use our powers where we believe there may be an opportunity to improve the outcome."