Pension threat to sacked Rover workers

More than 6,000 former MG Rover employees have been warned their pension scheme may be at risk.

It was thought all employees would have their pensions safeguarded by the new Government Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

But two out of three Rover pension schemes may not qualify because they relate to Rover’s parent company, Phoenix Venture Holdings. The firm is privately owned and has not called in administrators, although its workers have been sacked.

PPF boss Myra Kinghorn said: “To qualify all employers need to have experienced an insolvency event. For two schemes this has yet to happen.”

Independent Trustee Services, which has run Rover’s pensions since April, said: “ITS’s objective is to enter the PPF.”

It has been reported that there is a £400m hole in Rover’s pension fund, while a private scheme for bosses, the “Phoenix Four”, is said to be £16.5m in credit.

The new work and pensions secretary, David Blunkett, has pledged to help affected workers. He said yesterday: “We will make sure we safeguard workers’ interests.”

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