Rosalind Connor in Pensions Expert on ITV absorbing the Wireless Group’s DB pension scheme
Rosalind Connor comments in Pensions Expert on the implications of Wireless Groups’ defined benefit obligations following ITV’s purchase of the television business for £100m.
Rosalind said the transfer of DB obligations between companies was standard protocol 20 years ago, but in the intervening period many businesses have found themselves tackling mounting liabilities.
This has led to a widespread recoil from assuming additional DB burdens, Connor said. “People would even say, ‘I’m only buying this if something is done about the pension scheme before I buy’,” she said, adding that this trend has changed more recently.
“We’re increasingly getting purchasers who are either trade purchasers who understand the business, or people who have a good understanding of pensions and their liabilities and are able to make a much more nuanced assessment of the pension liability and the risks attached,” she said.
Connor said uncertainty over future liabilities continues to hold many companies back, but ITV, which has a £3bn scheme, is “not going to be at any more risk by buying a company with a DB pension scheme”.
Read the full article in Pensions Expert here.
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