‘Un­scrupu­lous’ bosses to face crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tions, warns PM

New Straits Times - - Business -

LON­DON said the party.

“I am set­ting out our plans, if elected, to en­sure the pen­sions of or­di­nary work­ing peo­ple are pro­tected against the ac­tions of un­scrupu­lous com­pany bosses,” she said .

May’s prom­ise comes as new opin­ion polls show her party re­mains on course to win a bigger ma­jor­ity in the June 8 vote , which Tories say they need in or­der to strengthen the premier’s po­si­tion ahead of Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Her fo­cus on pro­tect­ing pen­sions fol­lows a pub­lic out­cry in Bri­tain over the collapse of the re­tail chain BHS af­ter Philip Green, ma­jor­ity owner of cloth­ier Ar­ca­dia group, sold the com­pany.

Un­der May’s plan, any com­pany pur­su­ing a merger or ac­qui­si­tion val­ued over a set amount — or with more than a pre­scribed num­ber of mem­bers — would have to no­tify the pen­sions reg­u­la­tor, which could then ap­ply clear­ance con­di­tions, said the Con­ser­va­tives.

In ex­treme cases, where there was no cred­i­ble plan or will­ing­ness to en­sure the sol­vency of the scheme, the pen­sion scheme or pen­sions reg­u­la­tor could be given new pow­ers to stand in the way of takeovers, said the party in an emailed state­ment.

Other sanc­tions could include “puni­tive fines” for those found to have will­fully left a pen­sion plan un­der-re­sourced; bar­ring in­di­vid­u­als from be­ing com­pany di­rec­tors for a pe­riod of time; and in­tro­duc­ing a spe­cific new crim­i­nal of­fence of a com­pany board de­lib­er­ately or reck­lessly putting a pen­sion scheme at risk. Bloomberg

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