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New TPR trustee campaign to drive up governance standards

Read all the latest news from TPR. This month’s top stories include our latest blog post on how we use our powers, the latest DC landscape stats, recent master trust enforcement action and our new record-keeping guide.

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Trustees banned after millions of pounds scammed from pension schemes
Three people have been banned from acting as trustees of pension schemes over suspicions that millions of pounds were scammed from investors using schemes of which they were trustees. Timothy Walker, Desmond Cheyne and Lindsay Macalister have all been banned from ever again acting as a trustee because of their links to the Milton and Carrick Harbour occupational pension schemes. The men’s names have been added to our register of prohibited trustees.
Members of other pension schemes were encouraged to transfer their pensions into the Milton and Carrick Harbour schemes. We believe the trustees then invested funds held by the pension schemes in high-risk, unregulated investments in the UK and overseas without the members’ knowledge. Read the Determination Notice, which summarises the findings of our Determinations Panel

Anti-scam messaging could be fraudsters

Guest blog

Rogue pension websites are carrying anti-scam messages to try to trick consumers into believing that they are legitimate businesses. A number of suspected scam websites have been referred to us over the suspicion that they are being dressed up as legitimate investment vehicles – including carrying TPR anti-scam material without our consent. Some even imply they are regulated by carrying warning messages designed to prevent people falling victim to scams. These include references to the tax implications over accessing their pension before the age of 55, and the dangers of cold callers. Professional-looking websites or marketing materials are not a guarantee of a company’s authenticity.

Payments for Nortel pension scheme begin

AE spot checks

We’ve recently published a report on the use of our anti-avoidance powers in seeking financial support for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan. Payments to the scheme have now started after a settlement was reached in October 2016 between global creditors on the allocation of over US$7 billion raised from the sale of Nortel’s assets. The settlement agreement, which became legally effective in May, ended several years of litigation in North America about how the funds should be allocated following the Nortel group’s insolvency in 2009. As well as highlighting the impact of Nortel’s insolvency on the members of the UK pension scheme, this case also resulted in an important precedent from the UK Supreme Court that FSDs are effective when issued against insolvent companies.
New campaign to raise governance standards
Last week we launched a new campaign to protect workplace pension savers by driving up the standards of governance across pension schemes. The campaign, called 21st Century Trusteeship – raising the standards of governance, is part of our commitment to support schemes by being clearer and more directive. It outlines how people involved in running schemes can take action to meet expected standards and what action we will take if they don’t improve. 

As the campaign progresses, we’ll add extra content to our website, covering key governance themes including clear roles and responsibilities, managing advisers and providers, and value for members. Our recent research has shown that, while some trustees are doing a good job, many trustee boards, particularly in small and medium schemes, have failed to act on our codes and guidance to meet standards of good governance.
 
 
 

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