Call centre director given 8-year ban for pension scheme negligence

Target Source Media Limited former director, Philip James Hopkinson, has signed an eight-year disqualification undertaking as a result of pension scheme negligence, which saw over £200,000 of people’s pensions placed at risk in an unregistered pension scheme.

Target Source Media initially operated as a call centre from November 2011, with Hopkinson establishing the Target Source Media Pension Scheme in June 2016.

Less than a year later, he transferred the administration of the occupational pension scheme to a third party and over the next five months, members of the public transferred over £200,000 into the pension scheme.

However, the scheme remained unregistered, which was in breach of the Pensions Act 2004.

Hopkinson has also subsequently admitted that he never met or spoke with those appointed, nor did he verify their ability to administer a pension scheme to ensure potential members’ funds were invested correctly and risk to members minimised.

Whilst Hopkinson resigned as director in June 2017, he remained as an employee for a further two to three months, helping to authorise the transfer of members’ funds out of the pension scheme bank account.

Following a subsequent Insolvency Service investigation, Hopkinson signed an 8-year disqualification undertaking, which began on 25 June 2021.

Insolvency Service chief investigator, Neil North, commented: “Mr Hopkinson breached the duties placed on him as a director of a limited company and as a result, members of the public have been unnecessarily put at risk and have potentially lost funds from their occupational pensions.

“In such cases, the Insolvency Service will not hesitate to take action to remove the privilege of limited liability status from such individuals.”

At the time of the winding-up of Target Source Media in 2018, the company also held separate debts of over £65,000.

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