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NAMA confirms pursuit of major developers' pensions

The State’s ‘bad bank’ says it wants to get its hands on the pension pots of indebted developers – some of them worth millions.

NAMA chairman Frank Daly and CEO Brendan McDonagh: NAMA has confirmed it is pursuing the pensions of developers to try and recoup outstanding loans.
NAMA chairman Frank Daly and CEO Brendan McDonagh: NAMA has confirmed it is pursuing the pensions of developers to try and recoup outstanding loans.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency has confirmed its intention to pursue claims on the pension funds of some of the country’s most indebted developers, in a bid to recover the cash it is owed.

The State’s ‘bad bank’ is seeking claims for the pension nest eggs of some of its biggest developers, as part of its negotiations to approve the business plans of some of them who need credit from the agency to continue operations.

A spokesman for the agency confirmed the policy this lunchtime, but pointed out that the policy was “not a new development”.

The spokesman said it was relatively common for the agency to place a charge on a developer’s pension in order to reduce the amount owed to the agency and to the taxpayer.

The Irish Times’s Simon Carswell this morning described the policy as an attempt by the agency to compel developers to sign up for business plans which focus on the sale of assets so as to further minimise the amount owed to the public.

Failure to agree to the terms of the business plan could, in theory, see NAMA pursue bankruptcy proceedings against any of its debtors – in which case it would be able to claim access to their pension funds anyway.

NAMA’s own business plan requires it to reduce its debt – of some €31.5bn – by 2013. Last week it made significant progress in reducing its debts by securing the sale of some €800m of debt in a London hotel chain last week.

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Gavan Reilly

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