Auto-enrolment penalties surge

There was a marked increase in the number of businesses fined for not complying with auto-enrolment pension rules between October and December last year. Since auto-enrolment started in 2012, 5.8 million people have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, and at the end of last summer, around 12,000 small and micro-employers were phased in. However, it hasn’t been plain sailing. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) served 1,021 £400 fixed penalty notices to employers that did not automatically enrol workers into a pension scheme. In the previous quarter, it issued 107 fixed-penalty notices. The regulatory body attributed the sharp rise in fines to the pension rules now applying to more employers, particularly smaller employers who may find it more difficult to put the procedures in place or who are leaving implementation to the last minute. In addition, there was also a big increase in the number of compliance notices sent to 4,818 employers to warn them about not complying with pension rules. Half of these were sent between October and December. One clear note from TPR is that employers may fail to complete their declaration of compliance because they wrongly assumed their business adviser was doing this for them. Employers and their advisers should be clear who is completing what automatic enrolment task and advisers should be clear about what services they offer. There is good news though. The majority of employers have enrolled eligible staff into a pension without TPR needing to step in. More than 90% of the first small employers required to put their staff into a workplace pension have complied with the law. If you have any questions or need advice about auto-enrolment then please talk to us. We are here to help. T: 020 7376 9333 E: info@lansdellrose.co.uk    

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