Regulator denies Carrington claims

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THE Pensions Regulator has refuted claims that it took nine months to launch an investigation into the fate of the pension fund at a Yorkshire firm that ceased trading last year.

Last year, Carrington Wire, which is based in Elland, West Yorkshire, closed down with the loss of more than 80 jobs. The Russian parent company Severstal said the decision was due to a contraction in the market for steel wire.

In 2010, Craig Whittaker, the Conservative MP for Calder Valley, wrote to the Pensions Regulator, asking it to investigate the position of the Carrington Wire pension scheme, after Carrington Wire was sold out of the Severstal group.

Representatives of 500 members of the Carrington Wire pension fund claimed that it had taken the Pensions Regulator nine months to start its investigation.

However, a spokesman for the Pensions Regulator said yesterday: “I can confirm that the Regulator became aware of the sale of Carrington Wire by Severstal in June 2010 and as soon as the Regulator was informed of the sale it began an investigation into the use of its ‘anti-avoidance’ powers.”

Severstal has declined to comment.