800,000 employers risk workplace pension penalties

Employers who have failed to set up workplace pension schemes by their staging date are risking massive fines.

According to the latest figures published by the Pensions Regulator, around 800,000 small businesses have yet to auto-enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme

Businesses found to be non-compliant have either been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or an Escalating Penalty Notice (EPN). Those receiving the latter have been publically named and shamed on the Pensions Regulator website.

Fines for receiving an EPN range from £500 to £14,000 – depending on the size of the business. However, some businesses who have failed to pay an EPN are now facing a court order and huge penalties of up to £52,500.

The Pensions Regulator also warned that new businesses which start trading from October 2017 will have instant pension responsibilities.

Charles Counsell, executive director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “Employers who wilfully refuse to become compliant should be in no doubt that we will take enforcement action against them.

“Automatic enrolment is not an option, it is the law. Allowing some employers to get away with non-compliance is not fair on the employees who are denied the workplace pensions they are entitled to and is not fair on the vast majority of businesses who have taken the time to meet their responsibilities.

“To date we have only had to bring court proceedings against a tiny proportion of employers, but every court case is one too many – and one that employers can easily avoid by becoming compliant.”

For more information on Moore Thompson’s auto enrolment pension services and how we can help both you and your clients to remain compliant, please contact us.