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FOI reference - FOI 2016-07-06
Date - 06/07/2016

Request

I would like to know:

  • The number of avoidance cases investigated by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) since 2010. I would like this figure to be given for each year since and including 2010.
  • On how many occasions TPR has issued a Contribution Notice (CN) from 2010. I would like this figure to be given for each year since and including 2010.
  • Could you please provide copies of each CN and the total amount received as a result of the notices?
  • On how many occasions has TPR issued Financial Support Directions (FSD) from 2010. I would like this figure to be given for each year since and including 2010.

Response

Duty to confirm or deny whether TPR holds the information requested

I can confirm that we hold some of the information you have requested. However, we are unable to supply some of the information requested for the reasons set out below.

Information we are able to supply

Number of avoidance cases investigated

We have interpreted your request to mean the number of avoidance investigations which we opened in a particular year. I would like to point out that our avoidance cases are complex and will usually remain open for a number of years. The number of avoidance cases we opened each year since 2010 is as follows:

  • 2010 – 13
  • 2011 – 17
  • 2012 – 16
  • 2013 – 23
  • 2014 – 10
  • 2015 – 8
  • 2016 (as of 30 June 2016) – 5

Number of CNs issued

  • 2010 – 2 (Bonas and Desmond)
  • 2011 – 0
  • 2012 – 0
  • 2013 – 0
  • 2014 – 0
  • 2015 – 1 (Carrington Wire)
  • 2016 (as of 30 June 2016) – 0

Copies of each CN and total amount received

You can find further information relating to the case in the Carrington Wire - Section 89 report (PDF, 56kb, 5 pages).

In the case of the Bonas Group Pension Scheme and the Desmond and Sons Limited 1975 Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, you should be aware that those cases settled before they were heard at the Upper Tribunal. Further information is available in the section 89 reports below:

Number of FSDs issued

  • 2010 – 2 (Lehmans and Nortel)
  • 2011 – 1 (Box Clever)
  • 2012 – 0
  • 2013 – 0
  • 2014 – 0
  • 2015 – 0
  • 2016 (as of 9 June 2016) – 0

Details of all of the determinations relating to the cases referred to above can be found in published determinations.

Information we are not able to supply

There is no CN associated with the Desmond and Sons Limited 1975 Pension and Life Assurance Scheme case as this case settled before reaching the point when a CN would have been issued. Therefore, we do not hold this information. For more case details see the Desmond and Sons Ltd 1975 Pension and Life Assurance Scheme Determination Notice (PDF, 125kb, 28 pages).

Duty to provide advice and assistance

I am mindful of the duty to provide advice and assistance to requesters, as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so.

The preliminary enquiries that we carry out when each FSD case is opened often reveal that there is no need for a full investigation and in those circumstances the cases will be closed without the need for formal powers to be used.

In addition, a large number of cases will settle before they are referred to the Determinations Panel who make the decision on whether or not to use the power. This demonstrates that it is not always necessary for TPR to use its powers in order to secure a good outcome for members and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Even where we have expressed our intent to use a power, this often results in the parties reaching a positive settlement before this is required.

The recovery of an amount under a CN is not ordinarily enforced by TPR, typically this task falls to the scheme trustees or the PPF as appropriate. If necessary, a CN can be enforced in the courts. However, if you wish to get more information about how the payment of monies is normally enforced by the PPF please contact the PPF.

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