February 10, 2019 / 1:33 PM / in 10 days

Britain 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 behavior’ 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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