What if Invensys decided to withdraw its support for the Scheme?
Invensys would be legally obliged to first pay enough funds to ensure that all the liabilities of the Scheme could be purchased from an outside provider of pension annuities.
What if Invensys were unable to meet the outstanding liabilities of the Scheme or went into some form of bankruptcy?
In this case, the remaining employers would be subject to a statutory duty to pay enough funds to ensure that all the liabilities of the Scheme could be purchased from an outside provider of pension annuities. To the extent the employers were unable to do this, in addition, under the terms of an agreement reached with Schneider Electric in February 2014, the Scheme would be able to claim on a £1.75bn guarantee provided by Schneider Electric SA. Finally, if the Scheme still remains underfunded, the Trustee would be eligible for assessment to enter the Pension Protection Fund provided by the Government under the 2004 Pensions Act. If the Scheme were accepted, this could mean that some members would have their pension payments made from the Pension Protection Fund at a reduced rate.
What if investment markets suffer another significant downturn?
The investment strategy of the Scheme has been altered to reduce the impact if another downturn occurs. However, it is possible that the funding level of the Scheme would decline if investment markets performed poorly. Given the long term nature of pensions this effect should be relatively small and the aim of the Trustees would be to make this up through a careful investment strategy and, potentially, further Company contributions.
How can I get more information about the Scheme?
The trustees produce detailed annual report and accounts. Hard copies are available on request, and a downloadable version can be found on this website under the financial section. Other scheme documentation can also be obtained from the Scheme’s administration offices in Newcastle or from this website.
Will I always receive a pension?
You should continue to receive your pension in line with the rules of the Scheme during your lifetime. In the unlikely event that the Scheme is wound-up, your pension would be provided by a third party. That pension provision would then be dependent upon the funds available at the time the Scheme was terminated and the priority orders made upon winding it up.
What is the difference between a scheme closing and a scheme terminating?
A scheme is closed when no new entrants are allowed to join and, sometimes, when benefits stop building up. A scheme is terminated when its sponsoring company terminates its responsibility to pay contributions.
How do you intend to improve the investment performance of the Fund?
The Trustees review all Investment Managers’ performance on a quarterly basis. The Investment Committee also meets regularly with the Investment Managers and makes ongoing recommendations regarding the use of managers by the Scheme. Most managers are measured over three year periods of performance. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, we would not normally make a change until a manager has been given time to prove their ability.
What impact do rising interest rates have on the Fund’s liabilities and investments?
Changes in interest rates do not alter the benefits that the Scheme is designed to pay to you. However, the value of investments may fall as interest rates rise. This may not matter if the future returns are higher and so the expected benefits can still be paid. The Trustees, with it’s Advisors, regularly reviews the position and makes changes to protect your benefits that are appropriate and in accordance with the Trust Deed.