An accounts manager lied to investigators to try to hide the fact that restaurants had not given their staff workplace pensions.
Bradford-based Mansoor Nasir submitted false declarations of workplace pension compliance to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to claim that nine restaurants were giving their employees the correct benefits.
When TPR investigated it found that Nasir had failed to automatically enrol into workplace pensions 103 staff at the restaurants that he was the payroll adviser for. He had tried to cover this up using the false declarations.
The offences involved workers at Akbar chain of businesses in restaurants in Birmingham, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East between September 2014 and May 2017.
Nasir pleaded guilty to nine charges of knowingly or recklessly providing TPR with information which was false or misleading, contrary to section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004, when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 9 January.
Joe Turner, TPR's Head of Compliance and Enforcement, said:
"Part of Nasir's job was to put the restaurant staff into workplace pensions. He failed to do so and then tried to cover it up by lying to us.
"Giving us false or misleading information is a serious offence that can earn you a fine, a prison sentence and a criminal record.
"All employers have workplace pension duties. Don’t take a risk that could affect you for the rest of your life."
Nasir, who is based at Beaumont Management Services in Duncombe Road, Bradford, will be sentenced at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 6 February.
- Knowingly or recklessly providing false information to TPR is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004. It carries a maximum sentence in a magistrates’ court of an unlimited fine and in the Crown Court a fine or up to two years’ imprisonment.
- The restaurants that Mr Nasir provided false information about are Akbars, Akbars Balti Restaurant Ltd, Cafe Akbar Ltd, Akbar Balti (Manchester) Ltd, Akbar Restaurant Birmingham Ltd, Akbar Balti (Sheffield) Ltd, Akbar Restaurant Newcastle Ltd, Akbar Leeds Ltd and Akbar Restaurant Middlesbrough Ltd.
- 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).