PPF kept in the dark over insolvent businesses

Pensioners could face having part of their pensions reclaimed by the Pensions
Protection Fund as a direct result of insolvency practitioners failing to do
their statutory duty.

The PPF has complained that an increasing number of practitioners fail to
report when they are acting for an insolvent business with a pension scheme,
which can result in overpayments and claw backs.

The industry was previously warned about the issue in 2006.

Chief executive Partha Dasgupta reiterated the PPF’s concerns to regulatory
bodies after it found that the situation had worsened in recent months: ‘It’s
fair to say that things have got steadily worse, they must not forget it is a
statutory obligation.

‘A long delay between the insolvency and informing the PPF means we have to
recoup overpayments. The quicker we know, the quicker the [pension scheme
members] get certainty,’ she added.

The Insolvency Practitioners’ Association said it was aware of the PPF’s
concerns and instructed its inspectors to check that practitioners undertook
their obligation to inform the PPF of pension scheme liabilities in relation to
insolvent businesses.

The ICAEW said it had ‘taken action’ to remind its practitioners of their
reporting requirements under the Pensions Act. Trade body R3 reminded its
members of their responsibilities to the PPF in its latest technical guidance.

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