Pensions regulator investigates Ex-Norton CEO Stuart Garner

They are questioning Garner’s dealings as trustee of pensions schemes that invested into the failing brand

Stuart Garner - Norton Motorcycles

STUART GARNER is being investigated by the Pensions Regulator after the schemes he was a trustee of, and that invested directly into the Norton Motorcycles brand, failed.

When the Norton marque went into administration earlier this year, the Norton pensions schemes also folded, leaving 228 people without retirement savings and swallowing an estimated £14m in the process.

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This isn’t the first time Garner has been investigated by the authorities regarding his dealings as trustee of the Norton pensions scheme. In May 2019 the Pensions Ombudsman responded to a complaint from a pension fund holder with Norton. At that time, they accused him of “inexcusable conduct” and claimed the pensions fund, which bought shares directly in Norton Motorcycles, meant he as trustee had a conflict of interest in his role.

Garner’s pension fund was fuelled by investors who would shift their retirement savings from conventional pensions schemes over to the Norton pension fund. For doing so they were promised tax-free lump sums. In reality, these tax-free sums never materialised, and savers weren’t allowed to withdraw from the scheme until somebody else had bought into their place.

For the administration of the pensions scheme, a company called T12 Administration was paid for the day-to-day running. That company was headed up by Andrew Meeson and Peter Bradley. Both were already convicted of separate tax frauds in 2013.

Garner though claims to have not known he was working with convicted fraudsters, despite The Guardian reporting to have seen documents that prove he did, and claims that he is just as much a victim in the Norton scandal as anyone else.

At the time of writing, the investigation with the Pensions Regulator is ongoing, meaning until it concludes we won’t know the full outcome.