Four trustees of the Salvus Master Trust have been fined by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to promptly invest £1.4m of member contributions.
A section 89 regulatory intervention report released by the watchdog today said the master trust's trustees had been fined a total of £5,000 for the issue, which it said ran for 18 months and affected 9,081 members.
Salvus said the problems arose from issues with their manual process for allocating contributions - noting these issues have since been resolved and all of the affected members have been returned to the financial position they would have been in if this error had not occurred.
Commenting on the fine, TPR executive director of frontline regulation Nicola Parish said: "Pension schemes must collect and invest the contributions made by employers and employees. To have left so much money un-invested over a period of 18 months is clearly unacceptable."
Parish continued: "We will continue to take tough action against schemes which do not meet their legal duties."
Salvus Master Trust trustee chairman Michael Clark said the trustees worked closely with the administrators and Goddard Perry, kept to its plan and regularly updated TPR with progress reports.
Clark said: "The trustees were delighted with the support and action provided by Goddard Perry, which ensured that no member suffered any detriment, which was always at the forefront of our minds.
"Our decision to move away from manual reconciliation of pension contributions and payments by BACS to an automated process, gives the trustees confidence that this problem cannot reoccur."
Salvus founder Steve Goddard added: "Since this incident occurred we have revolutionised our digital operations and automated our processes to make sure that situations such as this cannot re-occur."
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