Friday, 01 February 2019 12:19

TPR forces NOW: Pensions to fix admin woes

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The Pensions Regulator has forced NOW: Pensions to revamp its admin system after pension contributions from 265,000 savers were neglected or delayed.

The TPR says that its measures - which included fines of £70,000 - have led NOW: Pensions to overhaul its administration system resulting in pension contributions from hundreds of thousands of people being collected and invested.

The TPR gave the trustee and trust manager of NOW: Pensions a deadline to fix “serious and persistent administrative failings” that had led to problems with the collection and investment of contributions.

In April 2016, the pension contributions of almost one in three of the master trust’s members – an estimated £18m affecting over 265,000 people – had not been collected. There were ongoing problems with the collection of contributions and with ensuring the correct amounts were invested for members.

 

The regulator told the trustee and the trust manager (NOW: Pensions Ltd, or NPL) to resolve these issues by serving them with an Improvement Notice and Third Party Notice respectively.

As a result, NPL has worked closely with employers to collect outstanding contributions.

NPL is making good any investment loss suffered by members because of its administrative failures.

The TPR fined the trustee £50,000 in November 2017 for failing to ensure that all employee and employer contributions were collected and invested promptly over the period from 6 April 2015 to 8 August 2017, and a further £20,000 in January 2018 for failing to keep some members properly informed.

Since the problems were identified, NOW: Pensions has moved all of its members onto a purpose-built platform, improved the member data it holds, and has rebuilt the data records of more than 350,000 of its members. All of the contributions due to these members have now been collected and invested.

TPR says its is now satisfied that the trustee and NPL have taken “all reasonable steps” to comply with the notices.

Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of Frontline Regulation, said: “Pension schemes, including master trusts, should be in no doubt that we will act if we become concerned about the way they are being run. We will not accept failings that put members’ savings at risk.”

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