The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has set up a division to deal with misconduct from pension scheme trustees.
The Pensions Dishonesty Unit will investigate “allegations of serious breaches of trust, misappropriation of pension funds and dishonest or fraudulent behaviour by pension scheme trustees”, the regulator added.
Its main aim will be to hold wrongdoers responsible for the “unlawful gains” they have made and provide redress to scheme members.
The repayment will be separate from any eligibility under the Fraud Compensation Fund, the TPO said.
Anthony Arter, pensions ombudsman at TPO, said: “A noticeable trend in recent years has been the increase in cases relating to trustee dishonesty and wrongdoing leading to substantial losses for individual pension scheme members.
“The Norton determination demonstrated a change of approach for us which not only holds trustees personally liable but also has the potential to benefit all scheme members.
“The extension of this approach to other cases involving trustee dishonesty through the new Pensions Dishonesty Unit pilot is very significant; enabling quicker redress and the recovery of funds that may otherwise not be achieved, directly from the guilty party.”
The unit is currently up and running on a pilot basis and is made up of TPO’s staff from casework and legal departments.