TPR ‘names and shames’ failing pension trustees

Pension trustees of a number of high profile employers have failed to comply with their basic duties, according to the latest quarterly update from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), which for the first time includes details of pensions schemes whose trustees have been fined for failing to complete scheme returns or the annual chair’s statements

The list features a range of national and multinational businesses, including Tunbridge Wells accountancy firm Creaseys, fined £500 which is the minimum, the London Metal Exchange, also fined £500, and builders Travis Perkins, who were fined the maximum £2000.

Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director for frontline regulation, said: ‘It is concerning that the trustees of some schemes, including those of some high profile organisations, are failing to complete some of their most basic legal pension duties.

‘We expect trustees to comply with their basic duties including providing information in the scheme return on time. Accurate and up-to-date data is the lifeblood of a regulator and enables us to operate effectively. Non-compliance with basic requirements can also be an indicator of broader governance issues within a scheme.’

The bulletin highlights that the majority of schemes complied with new legislation obliging them to prepare an annual governance statement, signed by the chair of trustees. Between April and June this year, the trustees of 20 schemes received a mandatory fine for not preparing a chair’s statement. A large proportion of those failing to produce a statement involved schemes with fewer than 100 members but some were large employers.

In the same period the trustees of a number of schemes failed to submit scheme returns even after receiving a warning from TPR, leading to the issuing of fines to 45 trustees.

The statistics show TPR issued 4,794 fixed penalty notices (FPN) of £400 for automatic enrolment non-compliance to employers in the quarter, up from 4,673 the previous quarter – the largest total issued to date.

A total of 1,384 escalating penalty notice (EPNs) for failing to pay fines for automatic enrolment non compliance were issued in the quarter, up from 1,043 in the first three months of 2017 – this was also the highest quarterly EPN total.

TPR compliance and enforcement bulletin is here.

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