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Pensions regulator sheds more light on workplace scam investigations

The Pensions Regulator is continuing to use its enforcement powers to crack down on workplace scams, but has declined to provide information on the names of firms it has targeted.

In a Freedom of Information request earlier this year, it was revealed that TPR had used its so-called ‘section 72’ powers – which have mostly been used for scams but can also be used to take action on avoidance and governance breaches or defined benefit scheme funding – 281 times since 2012.

A follow up request this week shows that 21 investigations into whether TPR should take action against employers avoiding their auto-enrolment duties are still ongoing, and it has already closed 20 such cases.

However, TPR has said that it is unable to release the names of schemes issued with an s72 notice over avoidance and DB scheme funding because it would prevent it from conducting its regulation effectively.

TPR has also released a trove of emails between the regulator and the troubled Universities Superannuation Scheme. The 231 pages are heavily redacted, as universities staff begin balloting for strike action this week over plans to move them out of the £60bn scheme into a defined contribution deal.

The current deficit in the scheme is around £7.5bn.

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