Today is 20 March 2024, which means that it's just over four years since Norton Motorcycles, under its former administration by Stuart Garner, entered administration. That also means it's slightly over four years since we first got a glimpse of how deep and ugly the Norton pensions scam really was.

For those unfamiliar, here's a quick overview. In 2012 and 2013, over 200 regular working people in England were persuaded to transfer a total of around £11.5m into Norton pensions funds that were, almost a decade later, found to be part of what's legally known as a "pensions liberation fraud" scheme in UK parlance. 

The money taken from those pensioners was put into Norton pension schemes, which were then used to fund the Norton Motorcycles business under the Garner administration. (Please note that the current Norton Motorcycles in 2024 is under completely different ownership by TVS Motors, which had nothing to do with the pensions scandal.)

After a long and drawn-out legal process, Stuart Garner was ordered by the UK Pensions Ombudsman to repay approximately £14m to the pensioners this scheme had defrauded in December 2020.

Garner then (unsurprisingly) declared bankruptcy, leaving many to doubt whether the pensioners would ever see any kind of compensation for their loss from this fraud. By that time, since time continued to pass, not all the pensioners were still living, but their families could also have used the money.

Norton V4CR

Now that you're caught up with the story, we're glad to tell you that there's some good news at last for the defrauded pensioners and their families. The UK Pension Protection Fund's Fraud Compensation Fund has finally found that victims of the Norton pensions scheme are eligible for compensation.

This comes after nearly four years of deliberation on their part regarding eligibility, as evidenced by a written document presented to the UK Parliament outlining why, in 2020, the matter was under consideration but still had not yet been resolved in favor of the pensioners. We've linked it in our Sources if you want to read it in full.

Back in 2020, the main sticking point according to the Fraud Compensation Fund was that "In the case of the Norton Motorcycles Pension Schemes, the conditions for an eligible claim have not been met as there has not been a qualifying insolvency event." 

However, that decision was not hard and fast, and was something that evolved as the facts in the case also evolved. Once there was "an insolvency event," the Fraud Compensation Fund was free to move forward in its consideration. And likely to everyone's relief, it did. Maybe it wasn't as quick as the pensioners and their families would have liked, but it also didn't come to a complete halt.

The UK Fraud Compensation Fund has reportedly paid £9.4m to the 3 pensions schemes affected

That's a big hurdle that's now been met, but now the trustee appointed by the regulator, Dalriada, is crunching the numbers on how much each of the 200-plus pensioners are owed. They estimate that this task could take until November 2024, according to the Guardian.

Some of the affected pensioners aren't thrilled about having to wait even longer, which is certainly fair. However, it does seem to at least be somewhat good news that they will be able to recover most of their money.