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An update on compliance spot check and pension scams

The Pensions Regulator has reported that the number of employees now in a work place pension has reached 10 million, and more than 1.4 million employers are now running schemes under the Automatic Enrolment system.

This month’s highlights are:

Contributions Increase - From April 6, pension contributions under AE will increase to a total of 8% of pensionable earnings which must include a minimum contribution of 3% by the employer and employees contributing 5%.

Spot checks – spot checks on employers will continue during the coming year. ICB will notify you as soon as we hear any details of when and where TPR will be focusing its checks.

Now: Pensions Ltd (NPL) - In 2016, TPR announced serious and persistent administrative failings with this provider. TPR is now satisfied that the trustee and NPL have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the notices. While there are still some cases of outstanding contributions, these largely relate to instances when employers have become insolvent. NPL is working proactively to address these cases and TPR is continuing to monitor the progress being made. The full report can be read here.

Pension scams

Victims of pension scams have lost over £1 million in pension savings to fraudsters, with an average loss per person of around £91,000 in 2017 according to the multi-agency Project Bloom group, which was set up to tackle pension scams. Those who have been caught out reported receiving cold-calls, offers of free pension reviews and promises that they would get high rates of return - all of which are key warning signs of scams.

A ban on cold calling was brought in during January 2019 to help combat this fraud. A full report, which lists four simple steps that can be taken to help to prevent such fraud can be read here.

Congratulations

ICB sends its congratulations to Charles Counsell, who has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer at The Pensions Regulator.  Charles, previously Executive Director of Auto Enrolment at TPR, and who moved to The Money Advisory service in 2017, is well known to ICB as he has spoken several times at our Summit. He takes over from Lesley Titcomb in April and we wish him all the best as he moves TPR forward.

If you want to find out more, information can be found from the Pensions Advisory Service here or the TPR website here

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