Watchdog names and shames high-profile organisations for basic pension governance shortcomings

Oliver Gill
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The UK's pension regulator has promised to keep schemes on a tighter leash (Source: Getty)

Regulators have for the first time named and shamed a number of well-known companies and organisations after pension trustees failed to fulfil basic responsibilities.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) today released its quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin.

Names of firms that have failed to sign-up to an auto-enrolment scheme have historically been disclosed. But it is the first time TPR has publicised trustees of firms that fail to complete scheme returns or file the chair's annual statement.

Notable corporates whose trustee chair failed to deliver a statement included plant hire firm Ashtead, building merchant Travis Perkins and US digger firm Caterpillar. A number of religious organisations were included on the list, including the London Diocesan Fund. The broad range of organisations also included the London Metal Exchange.

Fines ranged from £500 to £2,000.

A spokesperson for the London Diocesan Fund said the fines related to an inactive scheme that served three members.

"We had believed that an annual statement of governance would not be required for this particular fund, however, we recognise that this was incorrect and so the statement has now been duly provided.”

The London Metal Exchange declined to comment. Ashstead, Travis Perkins and Caterpillar have been approached for comment.

Earlier this week a report by PwC revealed pension trustees were being expected to work longer hours for less pay.

Read more: Working harder for less: Pension guardians get short end of the stick

“It is concerning that the trustees of some schemes, including those of some high profile organisations, are failing to complete some of their most basic legal pension duties," said executive director for frontline regulation Nicola Parish.

The publication of a more detailed list is a further example of TPR delivering on its promise to get tough on pension scheme governance. Last month, TPR issued its first ever fine to a public sector pension scheme.

In the wake of a number of high profile pension failures, the watchdog has said it will up its scrutiny of schemes.

Read more: This London borough just became the first to be fined by pensions watchdog

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