UK - Pension experts have blamed the Inland Revenue for increasingly delaying scheme wind-up - despite its claims that it has cut the backlog.
The Inland Revenue claims it is close to halving the number of pension schemes in wind-up awaiting cessation schedules.
Two years ago the number of schemes awaiting schedules stood at 28,000. The Inland Revenue says this figure is now 15,400.
An Inland Revenue spokesman said: “Our aim is to have 3,000 schemes outstanding by 2006. Last year we cleared 8,000 and we aim to clear a further 3,000 from the backlog this year.”
But Thomas Eggar Trustees director Vernon Holgate said most people in the industry still believe that Inland Revenue delays in producing cessation schedules is a problem. He added: “If it says it has got the problem sorted out, it is still pretty slow.”
Momentum Financial Services pensions specialist Mark Stopard added: “It is taking longer than it used to and there is no sign that it is getting better.”
The Inland Revenue claims that the average length of time to process a wind-up depends on how large the scheme is and the accuracy of the records provided by the employer/administrator.
In an effort to speed up its wind-up processing it has fast-tracked all its pre-1990 cases.
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