Call for UK regulator to act as media company scheme ‘dumped’

first_imgFrank Field MP“In particular, it would be helpful to have an explanation of why it was not possible to find a solution that would have avoided the pension scheme entering the PPF.“It is difficult to understand why it is possible for JPIMedia to acquire the business, no doubt in the expectation of generating a profit from it, but without taking any responsibility for its pension scheme.“Might I ask whether, in the light of this and similar cases, you consider that adequate protections are in place to prevent schemes being dumped on the PPF, at cost to pensioners and levy-payers?”A TPR spokesman said it would work with the PPF and administrators “to understand the circumstances surrounding the sale and its implications for the Johnston Press Pension Plan and its members at this challenging time”.He added: “Our role at this stage is to assess the terms of the sale of the business to ensure the pension scheme has been treated appropriately. We continue to work closely with the scheme trustee and the PPF.”A spokeswoman for the PPF said it anticipated a formal notice from the company “soon”, and emphasised that scheme members’ benefits were protected.Deficit pressuresJohnston Press’s board put the company up for sale in October as it struggled to finance a £220m debt payment due by 1 June 2019.Its pension scheme was 92% funded with a £47.2m deficit at the end of 2017, according to the company’s latest annual report.Johnston Press has been paying an annual deficit reduction contribution since 2014 as part of a recovery plan agreed with the trustee board. This contribution was £10.6m in 2017 and was due to increase by 3% a year until 2024.An updated formal actuarial valuation was supposed to have been signed off by 31 March 2017, but the company and trustee board missed this deadline, citing “ongoing discussions”.The annual report stated: “The trustees and the plan’s advisers have met with TPR and had regular conference call updates over the course of the year to keep TPR updated on the progress of the discussions.” “It is clear from Johnston Press’s annual reports that it has been engaged in active discussions with the Pensions Regulator for some time now,” Field said. “Might I ask you please to provide the committee with a detailed description of the Pensions Regulator’s involvement to date with Johnston Press? A politician has challenged the UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) to explain how a media company was able to be bought out of bankruptcy but offload its defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.Frank Field, chair of the UK parliament’s Work and Pensions Select Committee, wrote to TPR chief executive Lesley Titcomb yesterday after Johnston Press – publisher of several local and regional newspapers – went into administration.The company was immediately bought by a consortium of bondholders, known as JPIMedia, but as it was officially declared insolvent its £561.4m (€631.5m) is expected to enter the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) assessment period. At the time of writing, the PPF had not been formally notified of the insolvency, a spokeswoman for the lifeboat scheme said.In his letter, Field challenged TPR over whether there were sufficient measures in place to stop schemes from being “dumped on the PPF”.last_img read more

Cone assures Devance won’t leave Ginebra

first_img“Nobody’s going to want a 35-year-old basketball player, I don’t think any team is really interested.”Ginebra only has one player in its injury list and that is Art Dela Cruz with DeVance technically a free agent, but no team can just simply take Devance from Ginebra without both the team and the player agreeing on a move.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBarangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone said Joe Devance isn’t going anywhere.Devance is out of Ginebra’s lineup for the time being due to injury, but Cone assured the versatile forward will stay with the team no matter what happens.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Scottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Conecenter_img “Joe has no reason to go, we know that, and we don’t feel he’s going to go,” said Cone after Ginebra’s 104-97 win over Globalport Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We talked to him, we’re not looking to cut him.”Speculations of Devance leaving Ginebra instantly came up when Phoenix head coach Louie Alas said that his team is on the hunt for a big man and Devance’s name came up.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkDevance, however, said he doesn’t know anything of what Alas even said but remarked that they shared history when they were with Toyota in the Philippine Basketball League.“Coach Louie is a great coach, I thrived under him in the PBL, Toyota Otis, and I’m still friends with the Toyota group,” said Devance. “Coach Tim and I spoke, everything’s okay with the understanding that we have.” Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Lack of experience, chemistry doomed GlobalPort in loss to Gins, says Anthony Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense View commentslast_img read more