The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is to prosecute a Greater Manchester bus firm and its managing director for deliberately not putting staff into a workplace pension.
Stotts Tours (Oldham) Limited is accused of failing to comply with the law on automatic enrolment in respect of 36 members of staff. Managing director Alan Stott is accused of either consenting or conniving in the bus company’s offence, or allowing the offence to be committed by neglect.
Stotts Tours (Oldham) and Mr Stott have been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 4 October 2017. They will face eight charges of wilfully failing to comply with the company’s duties under section 3(2) of the Pensions Act 2008, contrary to section 45 of the Act in the case of Stotts Tours (Oldham) and contrary to section 46 of the Act in the case of Mr Stott.
This is the first time that TPR has launched prosecutions for these offences.
- Under section 45 of the Pensions Act 2008, an offence is committed by an employer who wilfully fails to comply with the duty under section 3(2) (automatic enrolment) of the Act – “The employer must make prescribed arrangements by which the jobholder becomes an active member of an automatic enrolment scheme with effect from the automatic enrolment date."
- Where an offence under section 45 is committed by a company with the consent or connivance of one of its directors, or is attributable to the director’s neglect, the director is also guilty of the offence by virtue of section 46 of the same Act.
- The offences can be tried in a crown court or in a magistrates’ court. In a crown court the maximum sentence is two years’ imprisonment. In a magistrates’ court, the maximum sentence is an unlimited fine.
- 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).