TPR brings prosecution against trustees and adviser for illegal loans and investments

Two former pension trustees and a professional adviser have made illegal loans and investments, a prosecution brought by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has alleged.

Stephen Smith and David Boardman, who were trustees of the Worthington Employee Pension Top Up Scheme, have been accused of making five prohibited loans from the scheme and one prohibited investment.

The allegations concern loans and an investment reaching a value of £700,000, which included three loans by the scheme to Stonewell Property Company Limited, the parent company of the sponsoring employer, Marcus Worthington and Company Ltd.

Additionally, the scheme also made an investment in a retail park where the land concerned had been let on a long lease to companies connected and associated with Marcus Worthington and Company Ltd.

Derek Thomas of West Oxfordshire, a professional adviser to the scheme, is accused of assisting or encouraging four prohibited loans.

Certain employer-related investments made by an occupational pension scheme are prohibited by section 40 of the Pensions Act 1995 and the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investments) Regulations 2005.

Loans to a person connected or associated with the scheme employer are prohibited and investments of more than 5 per cent of the value of scheme resources in land occupied or used by, or subject to a lease in favour of, a person connected or associated with the scheme employer are also prohibited.

The three men are set to appear before Preston Magistrates’ Court at 2pm on 19 October.

These allegations come after TPR brought a similar case to court in August when two pension trustees pleaded guilty to making illegal loans worth £236,000 from a company pension scheme to the scheme’s employer.

TPR also brought prosecution against two pension fraudsters earlier in the year after they were accused of tricking over 200 savers into transferring £13.7m into fraudulent schemes.

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