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IFAs warned on pension scheme winding-up rules

Employee benefits firm Jardine Lloyd Thompson believes many IFAs could find themselves in the regulatory firing line over new regulations for winding up pension schemes.

Regulations under the Pensions Act that came in from April gives Opra the power to fine all parties involved with the administration of a pension scheme.

The reporting process now in place requires trustees and their advisers to demonstrate the progress of the scheme wind-up and inform Opra if there are any obstacles. The process covers schemes that started winding up before 1990 but this will soon be extended to cover all schemes.

JLT says IFAs could be subject to fines if they are registered with schemes, even if they are no longer involved.

The firm has developed a range of services to support IFAs and to speed up the wind-up process.

Corporate development director Duncan Howorth says: “IFAs are often seen as playing a pivotal part in the scheme-termination process. If delays occur and the IFA is considered an obstacle, then Opra has the power to impose fines.

“However, IFAs may no longer have any ongoing involvement, so the criticism may be unfounded.”

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