Pensions regulator new enforcement action
Automatic enrolment into workplace pensions has been rolling out across the UK since 2012. It is expected that all employers will be part of the scheme by early 2018.Employers failing to comply with their auto-enrolment duties and missing their staging date can trigger statutory notices, fixed penalties and even court action. Staging dates are based on the size of an employer’s PAYE scheme.The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has recently published a report on Automatic enrolment – Compliance and enforcement for the first quarter of 2017. For the first time, TPR has published the details of every organisation that it has secured a court order against after the employers failed to meet their automatic enrolment responsibilities. In each case the employer had been issued with an escalating penalty notice (EPN) by TPR for non-compliance but had failed to pay it.A separate list has also been published with the details of every employer that continues to ignore its automatic enrolment responsibilities despite having been issued with and paid an EPN. In the first quarter of 2017, 1,043 EPNs and 4,673 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £400 were issued by the Pensions Regulator. This brought the total number issued to date to 2,517 EPNs and 14,502 FPNs.We would urge any employers that have not done so to check their staging date and ensure they are prepared to be able to offer their staff a pension scheme in a timely manner in order to meet the necessary requirements and avoid penalties. This report from the Pensions Regulator should give slow acting employers even more food for thought.