16th May 2018 Anne-Marie Winton comments in Accountancy Daily on criticism levelled at The Pensions Regulator in the Carillion report

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has come in for heavy criticism in the select committees’ report on Carillion, with MPs describing its response to the company’s ballooning pension deficit as “feeble”.

The report suggests the management team at Carillion had little interest in honouring pension obligations, even though “their cash-chasing acquisitions policy meant they acquired pension scheme deficits alongside companies.”

Anne-Marie Winton, agreed that with the report accusing TPR of being a “paper tiger”, there was pressure for the regulator to become “clearer, quicker and tougher” as outlined in the March white paper and its recently published corporate Plan for 2018-2021.

Anne-Marie said in practice this was most likely to mean TPR being given the power to issue larger fines, and in more circumstances.

“This is an easy power to add to existing legislation and fines are likely to be perceived as a greater threat than the use of its more complicated anti-avoidance powers.

“Following the report and white paper, it is possible that more clearance applications will be made (reversing the steep decline in seeking clearance since 2005/06). This could mean that the one-third of TPR’s resources allocated to frontline regulation for 2018/19 will end up very stretched.”

Read Anne-Marie’s comments in Accountancy Daily

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