There is a big increase in the number of penalties issued by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to companies failing to heed its warnings over auto-enrolment duties.
The numbers of failures more than tripled in the first quarter of 2016.
TPR issued 96 ‘escalating penalty notices’ between January and March 2016, up from 24 in the last quarter of 2015. These are delivered against firms for continual failure to comply with a statutory notice from the regulator
Escalating penalty notices are issued when firms fail to meet a 28-day warning notice from the TPR. The fines increase by £50 a day for employers with between and one and four staff and £500 per day for larger companies.
For example Swindon FC was fined over £20,000 by TPR after it ‘repeatedly’ failed to comply with its auto-enrolment duties. It failed to place worker in a pension scheme or adhere to other workplace pension duties.
The regulator’s figures also show it issued an extra 461 compliance notices in the quarter asking employers to remedy a contravention of one or more automatic enrolment employer duty provisions.
The TPR executive director for automatic enrolment said: ‘It’s simply not fair for staff not to receive the pension contributions they are legally due. But failing to act also means an employer risks clocking up a significant penalty until they put things right. Our message remains that if things aren’t going well, talk to us; don’t ignore us.’
Using a qualified and Independent Professional Financial Adviser could make a lot of sense