Norton pensioner demands answers over missing millions

Former Norton Motorcyles boss Stuart Garner offered to make ex gratia payments to individuals who had lost their cash through various failed pension schemes.

According to one pensioner, Garner, who was last week ordered to pay back in the region of £14m to stakeholders who invested in the pension schemes he ran, the Pension Ombudsman dismissed the idea.

Richard Jones, who invested £65,000 in the pension schemes, told that just over £10m is available to pensioners, with £2m already returned.

Last week, the Pensions Ombudsman said Garner had acted “dishonestly” after he had been investigated over allegations that he repeatedly failed to return funds to the Commando 2012 Pension Scheme, the Donington MC Pension Scheme, and the Dominator 2012 Pension Scheme.

Norton Motorcyles fell into administration in January, but was sold out to Indian firm TVS Motors in April in a £16m deal.

Jones said he is left with more questions than answers over the ruling. He said: “Does the takeover by the Indian company mean they will help out? There are apparently £13m of assets in buildings so will we have access to that, and, finally, will the government help out? There are so many questions and not many answers as yet.”

Last week Garner said the cash isn’t missing. He told Leicestershire Live: “I’ve worked with BDO [the administrators of Norton] who are sitting on £16 million cash from [the] Norton asset sale with a further several million expected to come in from Norton property sales.

“The money is not ‘missing’. It is all in the business and its assets.

“No-one has agreed what the pension investor amount is yet. But with £16 million in cash and several million of property assets to come in, it looks likely they will receive all their capital back.”

Jones told us that, despite his experience with the Norton pension funds, he remains a Norton Motorcyles fan.

“I will be supporting Norton all along; it is a proud British company that needs direction, not debt,” he said.