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Employers urged to check how automatic enrolment affects them

Ref: PN16-42
Friday 29 July 2016

Small and micro employers are being encouraged to engage early with automatic enrolment to avoid the risk of a fine as latest quarterly figures show a rise in the number of penalties issued.

The rise is in line with expectations after the number of employers reaching their deadline to comply rose sharply at the start of 2016.

The latest quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin (PDF, 132kb, 9 pages) gives details of the number of times The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has used its powers to maximise compliance with employer duties.

The report includes details of two employers who were fined £400 when they did not comply with their duties after failing to understand how the law affected them:

  • A garage owner failed to complete a declaration of compliance as they thought a staff member had done it.
  • A travel agent with no staff eligible for automatic enrolment failed to complete other duties such as completing their declaration of compliance after wrongly assuming the law did not apply to them.

Charles Counsell, Executive Director for Automatic Enrolment, said:

"Whilst the vast majority of employers are complying with the law, some small employers are still risking fines by failing to understand how it affects them.

"We provide clear simple information on our website. There is a Duties Checker which is designed to help small and micro employers understand just what actions they need to take based on their circumstances and those of their staff.

"We recognise that all employers are different – but the law is still the law. Don’t risk a fine, look out for a letter from us, take time to read the essential guide we send out to all employers with this letter and come to TPR’s website for all the information and guidance you need."

Editor's notes

  1. The quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin is aimed to help employers, their advisers and the pensions industry as a whole understand the type of compliance and enforcement interventions that follow our educative and enabling communications and support.
  2. 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 TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

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Ciara Bridge-Butler 01273 662018