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Unpaid Contributions Notice query

FOI reference - FOI-4008

Date - 2 August 2019

Request

You have requested the following information: 'business subsequently fined £400 for not providing information, and argue that they did not receive Unpaid Contribution Notice (UCN).'

Response

I can confirm that we hold information falling within scope of your request. However, we are unable to supply some of the information requested for the reason set out below.

Information we are able to supply

We completed a search on 25th July and can confirm that 100 businesses received a fixed penalty notice following a UCN and requested a review on the basis that they did not receive the UCN.

We have interpreted ‘argue’ as businesses that have submitted an official review request and, on this basis, completed our search suggesting either the notice or the penalty (or both) were sent to an incorrect, wrong, or old address. However, there may have been instances where businesses have raised an expression of dissatisfaction or complaint but did not officially challenge the penalty.

Information we are not able to supply

We are unable to provide any further details about the 100 businesses that came up in our search as this is restricted information.

Restricted information is defined at section 82(4) of the Pensions Act 2004 (PA04) as 'information obtained by the Regulator in the exercise of its functions which relates to the business or other affairs of any person’.

Under section 82(5) of the PA04 it is a criminal offence to disclose such information except as permitted under that Act.

Whilst the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) is based on the presumption of releasing information, section 44(1)(a) of the FoIA provides an absolute exemption to the requirement to disclose any information if its disclosure is prohibited by or under any enactment. In this case, section 82 of the PA04 prohibits disclosure and we are unable to disclose the requested information. This exemption is absolute and does not require a public interest assessment be undertaken.

Further information around our enforcement activity can be found on our website.