Pensions

Tighter HMRC rules on scam pensions expected post Budget

Legislation on tighter HM Revenue & Customs rules to stop scammers operating fraudulent pension schemes will only be introduced in the third Finance Bill of the year, after the autumn Budget.

Prime minister Theresa May’s decision to hold a general election in May meant the government had to drop a series of tax measures for the second finance bill of the year, which was last week discussed and approved in the House of Commons.

The pensions industry had been expecting the new HMRC rules on pension fraud to be introduced last week.

But the legislation will only be put in place after the autumn Budget, according to a spokesperson at the HM Treasury.

The budget is expected to be announced in November or the beginning of December, since its official date is not yet known.

Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that a further Finance Bill will be introduced following this autumn’s budget.

He said: “In line with our past practice, the government will [this week] publish drafts of some clauses that we plan to introduce in the next Finance Bill.

“The transition means there are fewer clauses than in recent years, but pre-legislative scrutiny will again help consideration of the Bill.”

The new HMRC rules, through which the government wants to ensure that only active companies, which produce regular, up-to-date accounts, can register pension schemes, are part of a broader set of new rules on pension scams.

Future legislation will also include introduce a ban on cold-callers who try to scam people out of their pension savings, and tougher actions to help prevent the transfer of money from occupational pension schemes into fraudulent ones.

There is no set date for the legislation on these two measures to be introduced.

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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