Pensions  

Company director taken to court for pension failings

Company director taken to court for pension failings

A company director is being prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator for failing to provide information and documents requested as part of an ongoing investigation.

Michael Woolley - sole director and a shareholder of Pim Trustees - was asked to provide information about investments made by company Southbank Capital, of which he is both a director and a shareholder.

According to TPR, the investments were related to money and assets originating from 16 pension schemes, for which Pim acted as trustee.

The regulator is prosecuting Mr Woolley for failing to comply with a notice issued under Section 72, which requires 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 a charge 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

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