HC Deb 01 April 2004 vol 419 c1582W
Mr. Trimble

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are taken by Invest NI to establish whether companies applying for grants have a solvent pension scheme. [164069]

Mr. Pearson

The issue of solvency of the pension fund of a company seeking assistance from Invest NI only arises in relation to larger operations that provide defined benefit schemes to their employees.

From an industrial development perspective, the important issue is the ability of an applicant company to demonstrate that it can fund its proposal for assistance in the context of all of its liabilities, including those relating to the pension scheme. Under Financial Reporting Standard (FRS)17, the statutory accounts of a company must disclose full details of any liability to the pension fund. Invest NI would therefore become aware of any pension scheme insolvency issues through a company's most recent statutory accounts.