THIS IS VERSION 1 OF THIS DOCUMENT – ISSUED BY DALRIADA TRUSTEES LIMITED. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WILL BE ADDED HERE FROM TIME TO TIME AS THEY ARE IDENTIFIED – PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES. THIS DOCUMENT MAY BE FREELY CIRCULATED OR REPRODUCED IN ITS ENTIRETY BUT DALRIADA TRUSTEES LIMITED MUST BE ACKNOWLEDGED AS THE SOURCE OF THIS DOCUMENT. WE WOULD APPRECIATE THAT WHEN CIRCULATING ELECTRONICALLY OR OTHERWISE THAT A LINK TO www.dalriadatrustees.co.uk/carrickharbours IS SHOWN SO THAT READERS CAN EASILY ACCESS THE LATEST VERSION.
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document relates to the
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Copies of all Announcements issued to date can be downloaded from the links below:
Frequently Asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WILL BE ADDED HERE FROM TIME TO TIME AS THEY ARE IDENTIFIED – PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES.
Q Why and When was Dalriada Trustees Limited (Dalriada) appointed?
On 19th September 2013 Dalriada was appointed by Court Order as independent trustee to the Scheme.
Dalriada was appointed as the Pensions Regulator had concerns that the Scheme was being used for “pension liberation”. Pension liberation occurs where individuals are encouraged to transfer to new schemes in the expectation of getting early access to their pension fund (before the minimum retirement age of 55), either by way of a loan or some other form of cash inducement.
Such payments are in breach of the Regulations that govern occupational pension schemes and can expose members to potentially significant tax charges.
Dalriada was given exclusive powers to the Scheme which means that all trustee powers and rights are now held by Dalriada.
Q Are the Scheme’s assets safe?
Dalriada has obtained control of the scheme bank account.
With regard to the investments made by the Scheme the position is as follows.
The Scheme paid £200,000 to MAP Property & Leisure Angus Ltd as an investment in buy to let hotel rooms in a hotel development on the outskirts of Dundee. On 8 April 2014, this company changed its name to DAMAF Properties Ltd and subsequently went into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 9 April 2014. The reason for liquidation was stated as the termination of the development contract between the company and the land-owner. Dalriada is the second largest creditor with a claim of £200,000. The liquidator anticipates that the outcome of the liquidation will be that there will be no return to creditors.
The Scheme paid £234,000 to MAP Property & Leisure Springside Ltd as an investment in buy to let hotel rooms in a hotel development in Edinburgh. Dalriada has been liaising with MAP and it now appears that the development may still proceed. If so, Dalriada may be able to get back the monies invested into the project.
Q Will the value of my pension fund be reduced?
Until Dalriada can determine the value of the Scheme’s assets, it will not be able to give members an indication of the value of their benefits under the Scheme. However, as set out above, it is likely the realised value of the Scheme investments will be materially less than the amount invested. This would mean that members’ funds would be reduced.
In our first Announcement we explained that the Pensions Regulator had concerns that the Scheme had been used for pension liberation. If members have received a cash payment as a result of joining the Scheme, HMRC may find these to be ‘unauthorised payments’. If that is the case there is a possibility that the Scheme itself may be subject to a tax penalty. If so, this will reduce the remaining funds held in the Scheme and therefore, ultimately, member benefits.
Any costs that are incurred (see below under ‘What costs are being taken?’) will be taken from Scheme funds and will accordingly reduce the amount of members’ funds.
Q What actions have you taken and what actions are you taking?
Dalriada has received copies of the member files that were seized by City of London Police from the previous administrators. Based on those records we have now created proper administration records on our computer systems.
As well as taking control of the Scheme’s bank account, Dalriada has also obtained copy bank statements for the Scheme. These have been reconciled against the member files and we have now created the necessary accounting and financial records that will enable us to prepare annual Report and Accounts for the Scheme as we are required to do under pensions law.
In conjunction with our legal advisors we have been actively pursuing recovery of the investments. Given the nature of the investments this is proving to be a long and difficult process.
We have prepared announcements for members and a centralised website with FAQ’s. These will be updated on a regular basis.
We are in contact with HMRC regarding the tax position concerning the Scheme and keep the Pensions Regulator regularly updated on progress. Dalriada is continuing to get as much information as it can regards all aspects of the Scheme.
Q What costs are being taken?
Usually, where a scheme is an occupational scheme, some, if not all, of the costs of running the scheme would be met by the employer. The employer linked to the Scheme does not appear to have ever actively traded nor does it appear to have any assets or means to contribute to the costs of running the Scheme. This means that the costs of the previous trustees and its administrators and advisers, as well as Dalriada’s costs and legal costs, have been, and will continue to be, met from Scheme funds.
Whilst Dalriada will do all it can to minimise costs, because of the number of complex issues associated with these types of scheme, not least the work involved in setting up proper administration records and trying to identify and recover investments, costs will be significant and will impact on the value of the Scheme’s funds.
Q What is the value of my pension fund and when can I take my benefits?
As commented above, until
- the realised value of the investments is known,
- the tax position is clarified,
- the final costs are known, and
- we know how the costs and losses are to be apportioned between the membership
Dalriada is not able to value members’ funds. To explain further:
- Ultimately, Dalriada might require direction from the Court as to how to apportion any remaining assets of the Scheme (taking into account any losses suffered by the investments and costs, including any tax charge) between members.
- The Trustee can only allow benefits to be taken once it knows the correct value of the fund for each member. Therefore we cannot agree to any benefits being taken at this point and it may be some time before we are able to do so.
Q Can I transfer out of the Scheme to another registered pension scheme?
Until Dalriada can place a value on members’ funds it will be unable to pay out any transfer values. It may be many months before any transfer values can be paid out. Similarly, and as mentioned above, we cannot agree to any type of benefits being taken at this point.
Q I feel that I have been wrongly advised to transfer into the scheme. Who should I complain to?
Dalriada’s role as Independent Trustee is to manage the Scheme in the best interests of the members. If any member feels that they were wrongly advised to transfer into the Scheme then Dalriada cannot assist with this complaint. You should immediately contact the firm that provided the advice.
If a member has a complaint about any action taken by Dalriada then you should complain in the first instance to Dalriada.
You may also find it helpful to read our page about the regulation of pension schemes. If you wish to speak to someone independent of Dalriada, The Pensions Advisory Service provides a free, independent source of advice.
Q What should I do if I have any further questions?
If you are a member of the Scheme and have a personal question please contact Dalriada in one of the following ways:
By telephoning our helpline for members
Dalriada Trustees Limited
22 Great Victoria Street
By e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
By using the Get in Touch form on our website.