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Former accountant fined for misleading TPR over workplace pensions duties

Ref: PN20-01

Issued: Thursday 9 January 2020

A former accountant accused of misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) after he failed to enrol staff into a pension has been ordered to pay £4,987.

Paul Eugene Rewrie, 58, of Crewkerne in Somerset, pleaded guilty to one charge of knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Rewrie was sole director of accountancy company PR Finance And Development Ltd, formerly Paul Rewrie Ltd, and was hired by a Cambridge based family-run company to enrol its staff into a pension scheme.

He admitted falsely declaring that staff at the company had been enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, when he knew that was not the case.

Providing false or misleading information to TPR is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.

Rewrie was struck off the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant’s register in May 2018 in relation to a separate case. Upon reading that decision, District Judge Teresa Szagen accepted that the defendant’s behaviour was sufficiently similar in nature (ie providing false and misleading information, and failure to file documents) that it needed to be taken into account for the purposes of sentencing in this case.

Sentencing Rewrie, Judge Szagen also emphasised that failure to comply with automatic enrolment duties is not only detrimental to individual staff but also to society as a whole.

It is the third case TPR has brought against an accountant for providing false or misleading information.

Darren Ryder, Director of Automatic Enrolment at TPR, said: “This case is another clear warning that we will not stand by while those who support employers flout the law and fail to ensure staff are getting the pension they deserve.

“Deliberate action to avoid pension duties risks a criminal investigation, fines and a criminal record.”

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 8 January, Rewrie was fined £2,667 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £2,200 in costs.

Notes for editors

  1. All UK employers are required by law to put eligible staff into a pension scheme and pay minimum employer pension contributions. This is called automatic enrolment because the employer is required to do it without any input from the worker.
  2. Employers have a legal duty to complete a declaration of compliance when they have complied with their duties and automatically enrolled eligible staff into a workplace pension.
  3. Knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR about compliance with automatic enrolment duties is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.
  4. The offence carries an unlimited fine if heard at a magistrates court, and either an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison if the case is heard in a crown court.
  5. 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).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662018

Matt Adams

Media Relations Manager
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662086

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