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Appealing an enforcement notice

When you can apply for a review

You can apply for a review if you have received one of the following notices or penalties:

  • compliance notice
  • unpaid contributions notice
  • third party compliance notice
  • fixed penalty notice
  • escalating penalty notice
  • prohibited recruitment compliance notice
  • prohibited recruitment penalty notice.

Time limits for applying for a review

You have 28 days from the date of issue of the notice or penalty to apply for a review.

If you miss the 28-day deadline, we may decide to carry out a review anyway if the information available to us (including any information supplied with your application) indicates that the notice may need to be varied, revoked or substituted and the review application was made within 18 months of the issue of the notice.

Who can apply for a review?

The recipient of a notice or penalty may apply for a review.

Alternatively an authorised representative can do this on the recipient’s behalf. An authorised representative must have written permission from the recipient of the notice or penalty or we cannot accept the request.

The person giving the written permission on behalf of the employer must be a sufficiently senior member of the organisation, for example the chief executive officer, a director, a partner or the business owner.

How to apply for a review

You can apply for a review of a notice or penalty in a number of ways:

  1. online
  2. by post
  3. by telephone
  4. in person

Applying for a review online

You can apply for a review online by following the link at the end of this page. You will be able to authorise a representative to act on your behalf and upload documents as part of the online application.

By post

You can download and print the PDF version of our review application form. Please complete it clearly using black ink. You should post your form and any supporting documents to:

The Automatic Enrolment Review Team
The Pensions Regulator
PO Box 16871
BIRMINGHAM
B23 3LG

By email

You can download and print off the PDF version of our review application form. Please complete it clearly using black ink, then scan the document and email it, along with any supporting documents to:

CandE@autoenrol.tpr.gov.uk

By telephone

You can apply over the telephone on 0345 600 2475. Your call will cost you 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge.

You will be taken through the form and we will record the information you provide. Once the form is completed, it will be read back to you and you will be asked to confirm the information is correct.

If you wish to appoint a representative to act on your behalf, you will need to confirm this to us in writing. You should send in any supporting evidence/documents within 10 working days of your application, in order for these to be considered as part of the review.

In person

In limited circumstances, we may be able to accept applications in person. Please contact us to make an appointment.

Information you may want to submit in support of your application

The more information you provide in your application the better. You may want to include records you have kept to demonstrate you have complied with your duties or other information in support of your application such as:

  • information about the pension scheme being used
  • information about your workforce
  • communications issued to staff such as postponement notices or letters which explain how the new duties will affect them
  • opt-out notices, opt-in notices or joining notices
  • proof of payment of contributions to your pension scheme
  • employment contracts or redundancy notices
  • PAYE scheme information
  • documents relating to insolvency proceedings
  • other financial information

Our guidance in your ongoing duties tells you which records must be kept by law under the employer duties.

What happens when you apply for a review?

We will write to you confirming that we have received your request for a review and if we are going to carry out the review. At this stage, we may also ask you to provide additional information.

If you have applied online or by email, this will be sent to the email address from which we received the application. If you’ve applied using the printed form, this will be sent to the address provided in part 2, or where a representative has been appointed their address in part 3.

We may decide not to carry out a review. This is likely to happen where:

  • we cannot identify the notice you wish to review
  • the application was submitted outside of the 28-day period and the information available to us (including any information supplied with your application) does not indicate that the notice needs to be varied, revoked or substituted
  • the grounds of the review are not stated or have already been considered in a previous review

If we decide not to carry out the review we will notify you in writing within three days of receipt of the review application. If our decision not to carry out a review relates to a penalty notice, you can appeal further by referring the matter to the Tribunal (see ‘If you don’t agree with our decision’ and ‘Appealing to the Tribunal’ below).

What happens during the review and how long does it take?

If we decide to carry out a review, the notice or penalty will be suspended for the length of time it takes to complete the review.

We will appoint a review officer to carry out the review who will be someone who has not previously been involved with the decision to issue the notice.

The review officer may contact you to request more information and, if so, will advise you of the timescale in which to provide this.

We will usually complete the review within 10 working days of the date of the letter we sent to you confirming we are going to carry out a review. If we think it is going to take longer than 10 working days we will contact you and give you an indication of when we expect to be able to complete the review.

When we’ve completed the review, the review officer will write and tell you their decision.

The review decision

The review decision will be one of the following:

  • the notice or penalty is confirmed – this means that the original notice or penalty must be complied with in full. We will advise you of the new compliance date which takes into account the time we have taken to conduct the review
  • the notice or penalty is varied – this means that we will issue you with an amended notice or penalty which contains some new or revised directions and/or a new timescale for compliance. You must comply with the steps and timescales specified in the varied notice or penalty by the new compliance date
  • the notice or penalty is being substituted with another notice or penalty – this means that we will issue you with a different notice or penalty. You must comply with the steps and timescales specified in the new notice or penalty by the new compliance date
  • the notice or penalty is revoked – this means that you no longer need to comply with the requirements of it. If a penalty notice is revoked, we will refund any penalty payments you have made

We may take further enforcement action if you do not comply with the requirements of a notice which has been confirmed, varied or substituted on review. This may include issuing you with a fixed or escalating penalty notice.

If you don't agree with our decision

If you don’t agree with our decision, you may be able to apply for another review. The application must be submitted within 28 days of the date of the notice or penalty.

We are unlikely to accept another review application unless the grounds for review are different to those that we have already considered.

If the notice which has been reviewed is one of the following, or if we have refused to carry out a review of one of the following notices, you can appeal to the Tribunal:

  • a fixed penalty notice
  • an escalating penalty notice
  • a prohibited recruitment penalty notice

The outcome of the review

We’ll notify you (or your representative) of the decision reached by the review officer in writing. The outcome may result in any of the following steps being taken in relation to the notice:

  • The original notice may be confirmed (upheld in full) in which case you must take steps to comply with the original notice.
  • The original notice may be varied or substituted with a new notice, which will reflect any new and relevant information you provided. If a varied or substituted notice is issued, you must comply with the new steps and timescales specified.
  • The original notice may be revoked and you’ll be informed that you no longer need to comply with the requirements of the original notice. Any payments made by you, for example, in relation to a penalty notice, will be refunded to you.

Appealing to the Tribunal

If you wish to appeal against a review decision relating to a penalty notice, you must submit an application in writing to the General Regulatory Chamber (GRC) within 28 days of the date on which the review decision was made.

You can obtain an appeal form and further information on the process from the Tribunal’s website.

Or you can request an appeal form from:

GRC Tribunal
Arnhem Support Centre (Tribunals)
PO Box 9300
Leicester
LE1 8DJ

The telephone number for GRC enquiries is 0300 123 4504.

Apply for a review of a notice or penalty

You can apply online for a review of a notice or penalty using the link below. Please ensure that you read all the guidance above before completing the review application.

Please note that the above online option is only available if your notice reference is 11 or 12 digits long. If your notice reference is not in this format, you may request a review by telephone on 0345 600 2475 (your call will cost you 5p per minute plus your phone company's access charge) or using the PDF application form below.

If you prefer, you can download and print off the PDF version of the form. You can either post your completed form to us or scan the document and email it to us.

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