Increased number of employers fined for non-compliance
According to the latest quarterly report recently published by the Pensions Regulator for the quarter ending 31st December 2014, 166 employers had failed to comply with their workplace pension duties. All have been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (£400 fine).
A further 1,139 compliance notices were also issued over the same period to employers found to be in contravention of one or more of their employer duties – ignoring these instructions without satisfactory remedy will mean a fine or further action being taken by the regulator! Interestingly however, it seems a significant number of these notices related to missing the deadline to submit their declaration of compliance, something that should be done within 5 months of the staging date.
Whilst small in relation to the number of employers who have successfully completed the automatic enrolment process, the analysis does suggest an increase in failing to comply (for whatever reason), with the expectation that as more smaller business are heading toward their staging dates this trend may persist.
The message remains clear – an employer must allow for adequate time to plan and complete all the workplace pension duties (ideally 12 months before staging), be diligent to make a complete declaration of compliance within the necessary deadline, and strive to avoid the issue of compliance notices or worst still regulatory fines (remember, the Fixed Penalty fine is comparatively small if lack of compliance continues and is followed by an Escalating Penalty Notice of between £50 and £10,000 per day! (determined by numbers of workers))
Article Date: 30/01/2015
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