UK pensions regulator fines more than treble in one year

The value of fines issued by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has more than tripled in a year, reaching £42m in 2017/18.

According to data obtained from the UK watchdog by law firm Clyde & Co., £11.5m of fines were imposed in fixed penalty notices and £30.5m in escalating notices.

The increase in financial penalties corresponds with the delivery of its promise to be clearer, quicker and tougher with offending schemes and employers.

The £42m, which is made up of fixed and escalating penalty notices, compares to £12.6m in the previous year, as the chart shows.

The watchdog has been increasing the use of its powers and this month announced plans to introduce one-to-one supervision for the 25 biggest schemes in the UK. This will go up to the largest 60 schemes over 2019.

It will also take a more proactive approach with around 50 DB schemes, assessing compliance with messages in the regulator’s 2018 annual funding statement.

These will specifically focus on whether schemes are being treated fairly when it comes to dividend payments to shareholders.

A fixed penalty notice of £400 is issued to an employer for failure to comply with a statutory notice or some specific employer duties.

An escalating penalty notice varies between £50 and £10,000 a day depending on size of the company, and is issued after if the employer still hasn’t complied.

Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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