From today's Times Online, courtesy of Lee Curtis (Harrison Goddard Foote), comes this article entitled "GKN’s trademark transformed into revenue stream for pension scheme". According to the article,
"GKN returned to profit in the year’s first quarter with its best performance since the start of the recession. The engineer reported a 50 per cent increase in automotive sales to £852 million and a trading profit of £51 million, compared with a trading loss of £47 million in the first quarter of last year.The idea seems ingenious but I have this nagging doubt in the back of my mind that there's a fatal flaw somewhere along the way. Can any of IP Finance's tax-savvy readers help?
The company, which has cut three dividend payments and made 7,000 staff redundant since the start of the downturn, also said that it would address its £510 million pension fund deficit through a radical plan to direct licensing income from its own name into the defined-benefit scheme. ...
The next triennial review will be completed by the end of the year, but the latest gross deficit figure for the scheme is £510 million. To try to close that gap, GKN has agreed with the pension fund trustees to create an asset-backed cash payment scheme that will put £30 million a year into the pension fund for 20 years.
Cash currently payed by GKN businesses around the world to use the GKN trademark — in effect, an internal licensing fee — will be channelled into the pension scheme. This will be supplemented by rental income from five of the company’s UK properties. The asset-backed cash payment scheme has been valued at £331 million.