The trustee of Smart Pension, which is in charge of the autoenrollment.co.uk master trust, has been hit with a £15.000 fine for failing to report delays in employer contributions, The Pensions Regulator revealed.
Smart Pension, which currently invests on behalf of 261,677 members is accused of having failed to report a series of late contributions to the regulator. According to TPR’s code of conduct, the trustee is required to report any employer contributions outstanding for more than 90 days.
Smart Pension had failed to report a number of late payments from August 2015 on, resulting in almost £900,000 in pension contributions not being collected or invested. The scheme also failed to tell members about the payment failures.
Smart Pension is a DC master trust which launched in 2015, in a bid to capitalise on growing demand for online auto enrolment platforms. By the end of last year, it invested on behalf of 261,677 members. Legal and General currently holds a minority stake in the fintech platform, which was awarded Master Trust Offering of the Year just last month at the European Pension Awards 2018.
Andy Cheseldine, Smart Pension’s independent chair of trustees responded to the TPR announcement by stressing that the Mater Trust had updated its practices since: “We now have a system in place which includes an automated ‘health check’, an algorithm which runs checks every day on every single employer to make sure they are keeping up with their payments.
“We are very grateful to TPR for its acknowledgement of the improvements we have made and our commitment to keep working closely with them. We take our duties very seriously and what happened was not acceptable. However, we are confident that with this new system in place, this will not happen again.”