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Crucial pension liberation ruling delayed

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A crucial High Court ruling on pension liberation involving The Pensions Regulator has been delayed until the autumn.

The case, which began on Monday last week, is one of two significant legal chall-enges the regulator is taking to the High Court as it attempts to prove that schemes used for liberation are not genuine occupational pension schemes. The TPR estimates £150m has flowed through one of the two models it is challenging.

It had been hoped the High Court would reach a verdict on the legal status of the schemes in the first case in a matter of weeks. However, a TPR spokesman says a decision is now not expected until the autumn.

The spokesman says: “While it is disappointing that there won’t be a ruling on the status of these schemes as early as hoped, this will not inhibit our work to disrupt pension liberation activities.

“The assets of the schemes in question remain secure, given the appointment under the court’s inherent jurisdiction of Dalriada and Pi Trustees. 

“Irrespective of the final outcome, The Pensions Regulator has a range of powers that it can use to combat pension liberation fraud.”

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “It is essential for the TPR to use every avenue to clamp down on these schemes.”

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