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Organised crime groups led by married couples or families are running pension scams worth millions of pounds, according to The Pensions Regulator.
Automatic enrolment (AE) has, by and large, been a success story. Opt outs have been fewer than predicted and the 10 millionth employee has been auto-enrolled, according to figures recently released by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). It’s also been good to see TPR getting their teeth into a few unscrupulous employers that have flouted the rules to show they mean business.
An accounts manager who tried to hide the fact that restaurants had not given their staff workplace pensions has been ordered to pay £5,000.
Some victims of pension scams have lost more than £1m in savings each to fraudsters, new statistics have revealed.
A new report into the BSPS debacle has heavily criticised regulators including the FCA and TPR.
Since 2015, the Insolvency Service has applied to the courts to wind-up 24 companies that have carried out a form of pension misuse.
XPS Pensions Group, the influential pension consulting and administration firm, has voiced its support for the government’s proposal to introduce Collective Defined Contribution pension schemes.

In November, the DWP detailed its plans for the new type of occupational pension scheme which will be subject to a 0.75% charge cap with the aim of keeping costs down. Royal Mail is already looking at introducing a CDC.
The government gave the green light last year for CDCs and plans to legislate for them in due course although critics have already warned it could take years for CDCs to arrive and they may risk fluctuating income for members in retirement because of their structure.
XPS says in its submission to the government on the proposal to introduce CDCs that they could provide “better outcomes” for employees than traditional DC schemes.

However, it said they may take choice away from members and present additional risks so it is “critical they are well designed and managed.”

XPS Pensions Group says there are three key areas the DWP and Pensions Regulator will need to consider to ensure the development of a successful CDC framework. These include:
1.      Sustainability and resilience of CDC schemes for the future
2.      How to ensure fairness of outcomes between generations
3.      Member understanding and expectation

Consultation on CDCs ended last week.
Jacqui Woodward, senior consultant at XPS Pensions Group said: “In our view it will be possible to develop an appropriate disclosure framework that adequately communicates CDC benefits to members. 

“However, we would caution against underestimating the risks of CDC schemes in the rush to get them established.  It is worth taking time to make sure that the new types of scheme can offer a genuine and safe alternative to members and we look forward to providing our input to further consultations on the detailed design of CDC arrangements.”
An accounts manager is to be prosecuted on suspicion of misleading The Pensions Regulator by trying to hide a failure to provide workplace pensions at a string of restaurants.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced the appointment of Charles Counsell as its new chief executive. 
Dominic Chappell, the director and majority shareholder of the company that bought BHS for £1, has been ordered to pay more than £124,000 for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
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