The administrators of Allders are briefing the Government about the state of the company’s pension fund, amid fears that 4,100 members could lose their retirement savings should the company collapse.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Opra, the pensions watchdog, have been in regular contact with Andrew Pepper, of Kroll, the administrator appointed by Allders on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the DWP told the Times that it was “monitoring the Allders pension scheme situation closely”.
The pension fund would cost £58m to wind up if the chain went into liquidation. The members of the fund would rank as unsecured creditors alongside suppliers, lenders and shareholders, leaving them likely to receive little of their pensions.
Employees of Allders are furious that they may be forced to rely on state assistance after their retirement. One worker said: “I’ve been paying into this scheme for almost 30 years and they owe me a lot of money. We’re absolutely incensed about it.”
The members of the scheme consist of about 560 pensioners, 2,640 deferred members and 1,500 employees.