February 10, 2019 / 2:07 PM / 2 months ago

UK beefs up plans to punish pension pot mismanagement

Britain's Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Amber Rudd leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Employers who mismanage workers’ pensions pots will face up to seven years in jail or unlimited fines, British pensions minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday, announcing a beefed-up response to a series of high profile corporate failures.

Britain has been promising to introduce tougher laws governing the management of pensions for more than a year following the collapse of firms like outsourcer Carillion and department store chain BHS.

Ministers have previously suggested a maximum term of two years in jail, but Rudd used a newspaper article to announce tougher sentences.

“For too long, the reckless few playing fast and loose with people’s futures have got away scot-free, Rudd wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

“To curb these freelancers playing fast and loose with your cash, I am going to make ‘wilful or reckless behaviour’ relating to a pension scheme a criminal offence, with jail terms of up to seven years for the worst offenders. We’ll also give the courts powers to levy unlimited – yes unlimited - fines.”

Reporting by William James; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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