Britain’s pensions lifeboat is spending £150m on the nation’s only pay-as-you-go road as it attempts to keep producing sufficient returns to cover retirement payments for 250,000 people.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is setting the funds into the organization which operates the M6 toll road, just days after IFM Investors bought it, its second group of Australian owners.
The PPF was at the center of the row over Sir Philip Green’s duties towards the BHS pension scheme after its collapse last year, playing a key role in the tycoon’s £363m settlement.
The 27-mile West Midlands toll road has not met its revenue targets since it opened in 2003, with traffic volumes lower than predicted but continues to generate high profits and has more than 35 years out of a 53-year concession remaining.
It is the newest infrastructure asset to draw the attention of the PPF, which seeks to deploy resources into long-term assets which have the possibility to generate returns which match its indebtedness.