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Pensions Regulator in first action to ban trustee

The Pensions Regulator has banned the chairman of the trustees of Ericsson’s employee benefit scheme from acting as a trustee of any trust-based pension scheme.

This is the first time the regulator has used its statutory powers to ban a trustee since it was set up in April 2005.

David John Foster was found guilty of providing misleading information to senior management within Ericsson about the pension benefits of executive members. The regulator says the misrepresentations of transfer values totalled as much as 13.4m, increasing the liabilities of the final-salary scheme and the sponsoring employer.

Foster also falsely claimed that executive members’ benefits accrued at a 1/30th rate and they were entitled to receive unreduced benefits from age 50.

After being alerted by a whistleblower, The Pensions Regulator immediately appointed an independent trustee to the Ericsson scheme to secure funds and began an investigation into Foster’s conduct.

TPR executive director of business delivery June Mulroy says: “David Foster abused the huge responsibility of trust invested in him by Ericsson and let down the members of the pension scheme. It is absolutely right and proper that he has no further involvement as a trustee of any pension scheme.”

Independent Trustee Services director Terry Monk says: “This proves the regulator is active and working to improve the standards of trusteeship. It also demonstrates that being a trustee is no longer a part-time occupation for people.”

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