Pension liabilities: High Court rules on failed firms

Massive debts owed to pension schemes by failed companies Nortel and Lehman Brothers become the responsibility of the administrators under a High Court ruling yesterday.

The decision relieves the burden which could have been imposed on the Pension Protection Fund financed from levies on occupational pension schemes.

Investment bank Lehmans went bust in 2008 with its UK-based pension fund 148m in the red and communication giant Nortel's European fund was 2.1bn in debt when it collapsed in 2009.

The administrators of the companies had asked for clarification of the law after the Pensions Regulator tried to impose a statutory scheme designed to protect employees from under-funded pension schemes.