Partner Anne-Marie Winton comments in Pensions Expert in relation to concerns about TPR’s criminal powers draft policy
The Pensions Regulator’s draft guidance on its new criminal powers, published on Thursday, failed to allay fears about the new sanctions, since it will be able to prosecute anyone in connection with an offence and will no longer be bound by limitation periods.
In publishing the draft policy, and the consultation document alongside it, TPR acknowledged the industry’s fears and made some effort to calm them.
At present, TPR can issue a contribution notice to require a person to pay the scheme’s trustees or the PPF. However, this notice can only be issued if the individual was the scheme’s sponsoring employer or connected with the employer. Under the new criminal sanctions, an offence can be committed by anyone other than an insolvency practitioner. There is also a statutory limitation period on TPR’s contribution notice power of six years, but there is no limitation period with the new criminal sanctions.
Anne-Marie Winton commented:
“These tests in law have different standards of proof; criminal offences must be proved ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, which is a far higher test than the civil law standard of proof for contribution notices ‘on the balance of probability’”.
Read Anne-Marie’s comments in Pensions Expert.
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