Skip to main content

Your browser is out of date, and unable to use many of the features of this website

Please upgrade your browser.


This website requires cookies. Your browser currently has cookies disabled.

Former trustee pleads not guilty to allegations of illegal pension investments

Ref: PN22-33

Issued: Wednesday 23 November 2022

A former pension trustee has pleaded not guilty to six counts of making illegal investments in a prosecution brought by The Pensions Regulator.

David Boardman, 68, of Preston, Lancashire, a former trustee of the Worthington Employee Pension Top Up Scheme, denied making five prohibited loans from the scheme and one other prohibited investment at Preston Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 22 November 2022).

At an earlier hearing, Stephen Smith, 63, of Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria, who had also been a trustee of the same scheme, pleaded guilty to making five prohibited loans but not guilty to a sixth charge of making a prohibited investment.

Derek Thomas, 86, of West Oxfordshire, who worked as a professional adviser to the scheme has also been charged with four counts of assisting or encouraging prohibited loans. Mr Thomas has not entered a plea.

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

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.

A trial date was fixed for 20 November 2023 at Preston Crown Court.

Notes for editors

  • 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 (Investment) Regulations 2005. Loans to a person connected or associated with the scheme employer are prohibited. Investments of more than 5% 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. Breach of Section 40 is a criminal offence and can potentially lead to an unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.
  • TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are:
    • to protect members’ benefits
    • to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund
    • to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes
    • to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only)

Press contacts

Dan Menhinnitt

Media Officer
01273 349511

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

Out of hours

This is for journalists only with a media enquiry. The below number will divert to our on call media officer.
01273 648496

Share this page

  • Facebook
  • Linked In
  • Twitter