TPR uses new enforcement powers for first time

TPR uses new enforcement powers for first time

Fraudsters, poorly performing trustees and rogue employers are being tackled through the use of a wider range of The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) powers.

TPR’s latest quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin highlights how the regulator is using its powers more to give better protection to pension holders.

Between April and June of this year, a number of different powers were used for the first time by TPR’s case teams dealing with pension scams, scheme valuations and automatic enrolment.

Production orders, which require institutions to hand over evidentially admissible financial information on individuals or organisations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, were used successfully as part of an investigation into pension fraud.

This was the first time that TPR secured these orders that require a bank to hand over statements and other details of the accounts linked to the trustees of a pension scheme, which were needed for the ongoing criminal investigation.

TPR fined a trustee that failed to complete a valuation on its defined benefit pension scheme, using its power under Section 10 of the Pensions Act 1995.

The trustee was ordered to pay a £25,000 fine after it twice failed to have the required scheme valuation completed, as is required every three years.

TPR also prosecuted a recruitment company, its directors and a number of its senior staff after they worked together to illegally opt out workers who had been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme.

This was the first time TPR has prosecuted offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Each of the defendants has pleaded guilty to the charges.

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said: “Our actions over the quarter demonstrate how we are continuing to develop as an organisation to be clearer, quicker and tougher.”

“We’re using powers for the first time and working closely with other organisations to better protect members of pension schemes.”

Categories: News, UK Pensions

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