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Regulator hands out £15,000 fine for pension contributions bungle

File image of a pension savings potThe Pensions Regulator has fined a trustee £15,000 for failing to report unpaid pension contributions.

Smart Pension, which runs the autoenrolment.co.uk master trust, did not tell TPR that nearly 500 employers had not paid nealry £900,000 of contributions that were due.

Smart Pension also did not tell members about the problem.

TPR suspends trustee after police launch fraud investigation

TPR found the scheme trustee, EC2 Master, did not make sure the scheme had a proper reporting system in place to make sure it complied with statutory requirements.

TPR fined the trustee £15,000.

In total, around 2,115 members were affected by the failures between August 2015 and May 2017.

TPR says the trustees and Smart Pension have updated their systems following the investigation.

TPR frontline regulation executive director Nicola Parish says: “Smart Pension’s systems and processes were ineffective and the trustee’s failure to act on its responsibilities was unacceptable, but we are encouraged by the commitment of both to improving the way they work.”

Smart Pension independent chair of trustees Andy Cheseldine says the reporting issue were fixed within weeks.

Cheseldine says: “We take our duties very seriously and what happened was not acceptable. However, we are confident that with this new system in place, this will not happen again.”

He says nearly all employers that were reported have now paid their lapsed contributions.

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