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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Jun 20, 2012

Regulator to issue fines for auto-enrolment non-compliance

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Employers who fail to comply with their auto-enrolment duties may be subject to statutory notices, penalties or escalating fines, The Pensions Regulator announced today (20 June).

The new duties – introduced for large companies in October 2012 and eventually all employers by 2017 – will see certain workers auto-enrolled into a pension scheme, with employer and employee payments paid automatically.

The regulator said it will provide information and support so that employers know what they need to do to fulfil their new duties and enable them to take action at the right time.

However, employers who fail to comply with their new duties may be subject to statutory notices, penalties or escalating fines.

In addition to the requirement to auto enrol employees, from July this year all employers will be banned from offering incentives to their workers to opt out of an auto-enrolment pension. This will include refusing to employ someone because they want to join the company pension scheme, the regulator added.

To help detect behaviour of this sort, the regulator will provide a whistleblowing facility, through which confidential reports of suspected non-compliance can be made.

Bill Galvin, chief executive of The Pensions Regulator, said: “Every employer needs to play their part to make these pension reforms work and our goal is to make that task as straightforward as possible.

“For those that do not engage, however, we want to make it clear there are consequences. We’ll apply the law fairly and where we find consistent or wilful non-compliance we will use our powers, so that employees do not miss out on contributions they are due.”

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