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Former Norton Motorcycles owner to be prosecuted for pensions breaches

Ref: PN21-22

Issued: Friday 20 August 2021

A former owner of Norton Motorcycles is to be prosecuted for illegally investing money into the business from three pension schemes for which he was the sole trustee. 

Stuart James Garner, 52, of Park Lane, Castle Donnington, Derby, is accused of breaching Employer Related Investment (ERI) rules by investing more than five percent of assets from each scheme into his business, Norton Motorcycle Holdings Ltd.

The alleged offences are in relation to three Defined Contribution schemes: Dominator 2012, Commando 2012 and Donnington MC which have a total of 227 scheme members. The investments, which were made in return for preference shares, were made between 2012 and 2013.

As set out in Regulation 12(2) of the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005, subject to certain exceptions, it is a criminal offence to invest more than five per cent of the current market value of scheme resources in ERIs.

Mr Garner has been summoned to appear at Derby Magistrates’ Court on 15 November charged with three separate ERI offences under section 40(5) of the Pensions Act 1995 – one in relation to each scheme.

Ends

Notes to editors   

  1. The employer related investment (ERI) rules are set out in section 40 of the Pensions Act 1995 and in the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005. Subject to certain exceptions, not more than 5% of the current market value of pension scheme assets may at any time be invested in ERI. ERI restrictions not only apply to investments in the employer, but also to investments in parties associated or connected with the employer, and in property used by the employer or its associates.  A trustee who agrees to make ERI in breach of the restrictions may be subject to prosecution.
  2. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

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