Pensions authority protests order forcing it to give Laptrust licence

By: ABIUD OCHIENG

The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) has moved to the High Court to challenge a recent decision by the appeals tribunal ordering it to issue a certificate to the pension administrator for Laptrust Pension Scheme for county employees.

RBA claims in court papers filed on Wednesday that the Retirement Benefits Appeals Tribunal lacks powers to order it to give CPF Financial Services Ltd a certificate of registration as a duly licensed administrator of a retirement benefits scheme without having applied for a permit for the year 2016 or meeting the requirements set in the RBA Act.

“The said order of the Tribunal gravely prejudices the interests of members of the Local Authority’s Retirement Benefits Scheme whose retirement benefits are at risk of being administered by an entity, which according to the legal opinion issued by the Attorney-General is an illegal entity,” RBA said in the court papers.

The authority said the CPF Financial Services Ltd has not had a valid certificate of registration since January 1, this year, following the expiry by law of the 2014 licence.

RBA is unhappy with the tribunal’s decision compelling it to issue CPF Financial Services with a certificate when in fact, the latter does not meet the requirements for registration as an administrator of a pension scheme, a failure that led to the cancellation of its registration in 2014.

The tribunal had in its ruling on November 20, 2015, refused to uphold RBA’s refusal to renew CPF Financial Services Ltd’s licence, saying that the authority was bound to consider its application, taking into account all the matters set out in law without regard to any extraneous issues.

The pension administrator had filed an appeal before the tribunal, challenging the decision by RBA to omit it from the list of registered pension scheme administrators.

The firm had in September, last year written to RBA, seeking to renew its certificate of registration for 2015.

The regulator wrote back, saying it had de-registered CPF and consequently revoked its licence, leading to the matter before the appeal tribunal.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION