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Salvus Master Trust fined for failing to invest participant contributions

Salvus Master Trust was fined by The Pensions Regulator for failing to invest 1.4 million ($1.8 million) in participant contributions, a breach of U.K. retirement regulations that mandate prompt processing of assets.

The breach, which affected 9,081 participants of the 150 million multiemployer plan, has been rectified by Liverpool, England-based Salvus, according to a TPR spokeswoman. It was blamed on a glitch in a new data system.

Four Salvus trustees were fined 5,000 each for the breach.

"Since this incident occurred we have revolutionized our digital operations and automated our processes to make sure that situations such as this cannot reoccur," Steve Goddard, founder of Salvus, said in an emailed comment. "As soon as we were aware of the systems error which led to the backlog we immediately brought this to TPR's attention, along with a proactive plan that ensured no members have lost out. Today, our robust online processes ensure that once employers load data into our system, contributions are collected and invested automatically."

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said in a news release: "To have left so much money uninvested for this period of time is clearly unacceptable. Our engagement with Salvus has ensured that not only the thousands of members affected have not suffered any detriment, but also the master trust's systems have been improved to stop this happening again."