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Football club fined £22,000 for automatic enrolment failures

Ref: PN16-20
Thursday 21 April 2016

A football club has been fined thousands of pounds after it repeatedly failed to comply with its automatic enrolment duties.

Swindon Town Football Company Limited (STFC) received fines from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) worth a total of £22,900 after it failed to put eligible workers into a pension scheme or comply with other workplace pension duties.

Charles Counsell, Executive Director of automatic enrolment, said: “This case illustrates what can happen when an employer buries their head in the sand and disregards their duties.

“If things aren’t going well, then talk to us; don’t ignore us.

“Failing to comply on time will not save you money. Not only do you risk a fine, you will also have to make back dated contributions.”

STFC was issued with a compliance notice on 18 August 2014 directing it to automatically enrol staff and pay contributions but failed to comply by the deadline of 17 October 2014.

There were several further delays in the employer complying with their duties, and as a result TPR’s intervention escalated from a focus on remedial action to one of enforcement action.

Full details of the case including a timeline of events are outlined in Regulatory Intervention reports.

Key lessons learned are:

  • Employers should not ignore their duties. TPR will work with you to help you comply, but we will use our powers where appropriate.
  • Deliberate non compliance will not be tolerated.
  • If you have received a fine, you will still have to pay it even if you then go on to become compliant.

Editor's notes

  • Section 89 of the Pensions Act 2004 gives us the power to publish information on cases where we have exercised or considered exercising our powers.
  • TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Rebecca Sandles 01273 811870

Ciara Bridge-Butler 01273 662 018