UK ministers consider reshaping Pension Protection Fund- FT

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt walks at Downing Street in London

(Reuters) - British ministers are considering sweeping reforms to the 39 billion pounds ($49.22 billion) Pension Protection Fund that protects savers in company pension plans, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Proposals brought before ministers could see the government-backed fund being given an extended remit to take on struggling corporate “defined benefit” retirement schemes, the newspaper said citing people briefed on the matter.

Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is examining the proposals as a way of directing more pension money held in defined-benefit schemes into start-ups and fast-growing businesses, the report added.

The move comes as British officials have been preparing a blueprint for a proposed 50 billion pounds ($63.11 billion) 'Future Growth Fund' for local start-ups, which could be supported by a government mandate for pension funds to invest a proportion of their funds.

Meanwhile, Britain's leading asset managers are also in advanced talks to create a multi-billion pound investment fund to back UK start-ups and stem the flow of technology firms snubbing London for New York and have been opposing to boost investments from pension funds.

Pension Protection Fund did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

($1 = 0.7923 pounds)

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)