WPC seeks answers from TPR over pension scam response

The Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) has written to The Pensions Regulator (TPR), seeking answers on its handling of a pensions liberation scam.

WPC chair, Stephen Timms, wrote to TPR chief executive, Charles Counsell, questioning when the regulator became aware of the scam and its response time.

In January 2020, Norton Motorcycles Holdings Ltd fell into administration.

It had three pension schemes set up, as part of a pensions liberation scam, to provide funding for the company.

Stuart Garner was trustee for the schemes - Dominator 2012, Commando 2012, and Donington MC – while also being CEO of Norton Motorcycles.

He was replaced by an independent trustee in May 2019 at the behest of TPR.

In the letter, Timms asked TPR when it “became aware” of Garner’s conflict of interest in acting as the trustee for the schemes.

He also queried whether the regulator could have acted in a swifter fashion, since the arrangement began in 2012 but was not acted upon until May 2019.

Counsell was also asked if the regulator had learned any lessons from how it handled the case, what it was doing to protect other savers in schemes set up though pension liberation scams and what the expectations of scheme members should be for the return of the funds they invested.

This was one of Timm’s first actions as WPC chair, following his appointment on 29 January.

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