Pension fund deficit at Planet Ice revealed

The Isle of Wight Council said it had tried to recover the money from the company but had not been successful, so the money needs to be found from the main council pension pot.

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The pension fund for the company that operated the now-defunct Ryde Arena ice rink faces a deficit of tens of thousands of pounds.

Planet Ice, which operated the rink from 1991 until it closed three years ago, faces a pension deficit of £27,000 after the company ceased to be an employer in 2015.

IWC failed to recover money
The Isle of Wight Council said it had tried to recover the money from the company but had not been successful.

However, the authority said everyone who had paid into the fund would receive their pension as normal.

The total value of pension funds for council employees and subcontractors — such as Planet Ice, or Island Roads — is more than £600 million.

Taken from pension pot
The council said the £27,000 deficit from Planet Ice would be taken from the entire pension pot.

The money would not need to be found immediately but over the next ten to 40 years.

The fund is operating at more than 97 per cent funded — meaning overall the pension pot for the council is in deficit by £18 million.

Small percentage remains unfunded
A council spokesperson said only a very small percentage remained unfunded, and there would be no issue recovering the money for the pension.

The ice rink was leased to Planet Ice by the Isle of Wight Council in 1999. In 2014, the lease was bought by investment company BNY Mellon, which sub-let it back to Planet Ice.

The rink was closed in 2015 after accruing losses of £140,000 a year.

Almost two months ago, Ryde councillor,Wayne Whittle said the council was going to go legal and that news was expected before Christmas.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed

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1 Comment on "Pension fund deficit at Planet Ice revealed"

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This would appear to be more about the financial set-up of the owners group of companies. All the Ice rinks under this ownership have been set up as stand alone companies as a check in Companies House will show. The leasing arrangement is another complication. Strangely, everyone but the IWC and the Arena employees seem to have made money out of Arena. This is yet another example… Read more »