More employers fined over auto-enrolment

Almost 200 employers have now been fined for failing to comply with workplace pensions duties, according to figures from the Pensions Regulator today.

Up to the end of 2014,169 employers had received a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice  although the number was a tiny percentage of the thousands that have successfully introduced automatic enrolment of eligible workers into qualifying workplace pension schemes. However, 166 of the Fixed Penalty Notices were issued in the last three months of 2014.

Also in the quarter, 1,139 compliance notices were issued, instructing an employer to put right a failure to comply with one or more of their auto-enrolment responsibilities or risk a fine or further action.

The number of employers approaching the date when they must confirm that they have complied with new workplace pensions duties – known as a declaration of compliance – is now beginning to rise significantly as smaller businesses come on board.

As a result, the regulator said it expected to see more employers who, despite being encouraged to prepare early, leave it too late or do not comply at all. Its research has shown that majority of employers who have completed the automatic enrolment process regret that they did not allow more time.

Charles Counsell, the Pensions Regulator’s director of automatic enrolment, said: “We recommend you start your automatic enrolment planning and preparation 12 months before staging.

“It appears some medium employers waited for a prompt from the regulator before completing their automatic enrolment duties. Employers must complete all their duties including making their declaration of compliance to The Pensions Regulator.

“With the mass market roll out of automatic enrolment to large numbers of small businesses in the coming months, we expect to see an increase in how often we need to use our powers.”

Moore Thompson can provide comprehensive support to help employers through the auto-enrolment process and beyond, including:

  • identifying the costs of auto-enrolment
  • assisting with the auto-enrolment information
  • payroll bureau support for auto-enrolment
  • reviewing existing pension schemes for auto-enrolment compliance
  • advising and assisting with setting up a new, auto-enrolment compliant pension scheme  advising on and providing quotations for Sage software to assist with auto-enrolment and accounting.

For more information on our auto-enrolment services, please contact us.