26th April 2017 Rosalind Connor comments in Pensions Insight on TPR’s first criminal convictions

Total fines of £23,000 from two court cases may not be the most substantial penalties ever imposed by the UK justice system. But as the outcome from the first criminal convictions brought about by the Pensions Regulator (TPR), they are significant.

Both cases hinged on refusal to provide documents as requested under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004 without a reasonable excuse, which is a criminal offence under section 77 of the Act. Although the regulator has previously made some use of its power under section 72 to demand information, it has not in the past taken failures further by applying section 77.

Rosalind Connor commented, “This is part of a broader trend, by which the regulator wants to ensure that its powers are exercised. Most of us are aware that the response which is most likely to provoke further and more aggressive reactions from the regulator is to give no response. These cases strongly illustrate this.”

She added: “This is not to say that receipt of a section 72 notice means that everything has to be handed over – there are some exceptions – but it really must not be ignored.”

Rosalind said that immediate dialogue with advisers is a vital first step, “and, if information can’t be provided, or not on time, it is really very important to start a dialogue with TPR to explain and agree a way forward.”

Read the full article in Pensions Insight here.

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