Company secretaries say the Pensions Regulator should have more power to block takeovers to protect retirement funds

Francesca Washtell
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The Pensions Regulator should have more powers to protect pensions when it comes to M&A, according to the poll (Source: Getty)

Almost two-thirds of company secretaries believe the Pensions Regulator should be given stronger powers to block takeovers in order to safeguard pensions.

According to a poll released today by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) and The Core Partnership, 64 per cent of company secretaries were in favour of boosting the Pensions Regulator’s powers, while 15 per cent were against and 21 per cent were undecided.

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Respondents also said there should be more onus on company directors to look after pension funds. More than half, 55 per cent, felt directors’ duties should be “expanded to include a specific duty of care” for a firm’s pension fund.

However, some also said no directors should be a trustee of a firm’s sponsored scheme, as the risk of conflicts of interest is too high.

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“With FTSE 100 pension deficits soaring in the last year and the BHS pension debacle still fresh in people’s minds, it is little wonder that we are seeing calls for more powers to be handed to The Pensions Regulator,” said ICSA chief executive Simon Osborne.