The Pensions Regulator has fined trustees at Now: Pensions £70,000 over administration failings and says these problems must be fixed by July 2018.
It wants the master trust to resolve failings that have led to some scheme members’ savings not being collected from employers and invested over a number of years.
A specific penalty of £50,000 was issued for failing to process some core financial transactions promptly and accurately and a penalty of £20,000 for failing to report late or missing contributions to some members.
Apart from these fines the regulator issued an improvement notice to the trustees and a related third party notice to the trust manager Now: Pensions Ltd to ensure both take steps to resolve the issues by set deadlines.
TPR says both parties have indicated they are prioritising this while the trustee has assured the regulator there is no risk to any of the funds that Now: Pensions has collected on behalf of members.
Furthermore the trustee and Now: Pensions Ltd have also agreed to set up a scheme of compensation for members who have been affected.
TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation Nicola Parish explains all of these measures should ensure compliance.
She says: “This package of measures, together with those voluntarily taken by the trustee, should ensure that the issues with Now: Pensions which have persisted for so long are finally resolved.
“We will continue to monitor progress and will issue further fines if necessary to ensure that the trustee and Now: Pensions Ltd focus on resolving the issues as swiftly as possible.
“Trustees, sponsors and administrators should be in no doubt that we will act if we are concerned about the way schemes are being run.”
Now: Pensions interim chief executive Troy Clutterbuck says: “I am truly sorry for the delays that some clients have experienced processing pension contributions.
“We’ve been working closely with TPR on the steps detailed in the improvement notice and third party notice and have made significant progress. I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of schemes are now up to date.
“Work continues on a small percentage of larger and more complex schemes and these will be updated by April – the deadline set by the regulator.”
The penalties will be paid by Now: Pensions Limited and will not come out of members’ funds.