This site is in beta mode while we add the remaining policies. To feedback or help, please get in touch!
Done
Consider criminalising pension fund mismanagement

We will consider introducing a new criminal offence for company directors who deliberately or recklessly put at risk the ability of a pension scheme to meet its obligations.

Our Verdict

The collapses of BHS and Carillion alone left a hole of over £1 billion missing from employees’ pension funds. ‘Mismanagement’ of this nature and scale is something the government wants to crack down on, so is “considering” (i.e. making a decision either way) whether this should be a criminal offence as opposed to a civil offence. If it is a criminal offence, perpetrators could face a prison sentence rather than just fines or restrictions on their business practices.

In the government’s 2018 White Paper ‘Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes‘, it outlined plans to increase powers for The Pension Regulator (TPR) to act against an employer whose actions compromise pensioners’ benefits. Specifically, the TPR will be able to disqualify company directors who have acted recklessly with pensioners’ funds. It is this “reckless” behaviour that is being considered as a potential criminal offence.

After a further review, the government announced in February 2019 that the maximum sentence for pension mismanagement would be increased from two years in prison to up to seven years. So clearly criminal action is the route the government wishes to take – at least for “the reckless few”.

While the decision to criminalise this offence faces some criticism (due to being harder to purse than civil offences) and is not yet law, the government has fulfilled its promise to “consider” criminalising pension fund mismanagement. We’re marking it as ‘done’. The debate as to whether criminal or civil action is more effective is an interesting one, so have your say in the comments below.

‘Consider’ the detail…

Related policies

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we track policies, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why or submit an edit.

Get involved!

Whether you are for or against this policy or just want to know more, it's never been easier to get involved and have your say. Try these for starters…

Join the discussion On this page, or Twitter, or Facebook. Democracy is better shared!
Follow this policy We'll send you email alerts every time something interesting happens.
Ask your MP Ask your MP to help you support or block this policy - write to them here.
Get the facts Sense about Science and Full Fact are great for evidence and fact checking.
Get ahead! The Simple Politics newsletter breaks it all down for you - before it happens!
Comments