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UK regulator fines Pitmans Trustees over late governance statement

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The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has fined a UK trustee company for failing to file a new governance statement required from all defined contribution (DC) trustees.

Pitmans Trustees Limited (PTL) was fined a total of £6,000 (€6,900) by the regulator, with the maximum possible fine of £2,000 levied against three breaches, over its failure to submit signed governance statements on behalf of three schemes.

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, warned that it would enforce the law where schemes fail to have a governance statement signed off by the DC fund’s chair of trustees.

A case report prepared by TPR said the breaches related to the Precision Carbide Tools Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, the Comshare Retirement and Death Benefits Plan and the EBC Pension Scheme.

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“In their correspondence, PTL told us that they had taken action and prepared the required statements after the breaches had occurred,” TPR’s report on the matter added.

It continued that the maximum fine was imposed, as there wee no mitigating factors, and all three funds employed a professional trustee.

Parish added: “Professional trustees are expected to meet a higher standard of care and to demonstrate a greater level of knowledge and understanding than other trustees.

“We will act where trustees demonstrate that they are not complying even with the basic duties we expect,” she said.

PTL could not be reached for comment at time of writing.

TPR had previously issued a £500 warning to the trustee of the Abbey Manor Group Pension Scheme for failing to sign the new chair’s statement.

It comes as the regulator pushes for improved trustee standards, setting out its vision of modern trusteeship in a recent consultation.

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