Pensions Regulator  

Businessman prosecuted for failing to pass on information

Businessman prosecuted for failing to pass on information

The Pensions Regulator is taking a businessman to court for failing to pass on information about his companies' pension arrangements.

The watchdog is investigating allegations that staff working for Vincent Bootes, 56, haven’t had their workplace pension contributions paid by his companies.

According to Companies House, Mr Bootes has nine companies registered in two addresses, some in Liphook, Hampshire, and others in Cobham, Surrey.

The regulator is prosecuting Mr Bootes for failing to comply with two notices issued under Section 72, which require pension schemes, employers and third parties to provide TPR with information and documents relevant to its functions.

He has been summoned to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on November 13, where he will face two charges of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents, without a reasonable excuse.

Failure to comply with a Section 72 notice is a criminal offence which can result in an unlimited fine.

Former BHS boss Dominic Chappell was ordered to pay more than £124,000 last December for failing to comply with three of these notices.

FTAdviser reported in August that TPR is increasingly seeking information from trustees and advisers on pension schemes and has upped its enforcement action in the past years.

A Freedom of Information requested by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills found almost 937 requests for information about pension scheme administration and legislative compliance have been made by the regulator since 2010.

The data signalled an increased crackdown in the latter part of the decade as the five years to June 2019 saw a 133 per cent increase in the number of requests, which totalled 656, compared with 281 requests from 2010 to 2014.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.