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Director of children’s nursery admits to misleading TPR and avoiding paying pensions to their staff

Ref: PN19-47

Issued: Thursday 14 November 2019

A pre-school nursery and its main director have pleaded guilty to willful failure to comply with its pension duties and for misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by falsely claiming staff had been put into a pension.

Appearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 13 November 2019, Merseyside-based Sulouste Ltd, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery admitted to wilfully failing to comply with its automatic enrolment responsibilities and the director, Christine Moore admitted to providing TPR with false and misleading information.

In a false declaration of compliance, Moore told TPR her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff.

However, after an alert from a whistleblower and an investigation by TPR, it emerged that while a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been automatically enrolled.

Darren Ryder, Director of Automatic Enrolment at TPR, said: “Any employee who is eligible for automatic enrolment must be put into a pension and contributions must be paid in on their behalf. TPR will not stand by if an employer does not meet their responsibilities and we will take action to make sure staff get the pensions they are entitled to.

“While the majority of employers do the right thing, Mrs Moore misled TPR to cover up that she was deliberately denying her staff the pensions they are due. This is a serious offence which we will not tolerate.”

Sulouste, which is based in Waterloo, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to wilfully failing to comply with their automatic enrolment duties under section 45 of the Pensions Act 2008. Mrs Moore, 60, of Merseyside, who is the main director of Sulouste, pleaded guilty to recklessly providing TPR with false and misleading information.

Both will be sentenced on 20 November at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Notes to editors

  1. The maximum sentence for each charge at a magistrates’ court is an unlimited fine.
  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).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
01273 662018

Matt Adams

Senior Media and Parliamentary Manager
01273 662086

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