Regulation  

TPR issues 119 compliance notices over the quarter

TPR issues 119 compliance notices over the quarter

Between April and June the Pensions Regulator issued a total of 119 compliance notices, from a total of 1,295 altogether since the beginning of April 2014, according to its latest quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin.

On top of this, 68 fixed penalty notices have now been issued out of a total of 332, while 50 unpaid contributions notices were issued over the three months compared to a total of 71.

The regulator issued no escalating penalty notices this quarter, although four were issued last quarter, following Aon Employee Benefits predicting a surge in escalating penalty notices last month.

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TPR also issued this quarter five inspection notices from a total of 13 altogether. In total, there have been 1,751 notices handed out by the regulator altogether.

The regulator said that the figures published today (30 July) show that compliance with auto-enrolment law continues to be the norm, but warned that with tens of thousands of small and micro employers starting out on their auto-enrolment journey in the coming months, there are potential pitfalls to compliance.

TPR has also updated its compliance and enforcement policy, which details its approach to identifying, deterring, preventing and tackling non-compliance.

It noted that research showed 20 per cent of small and micro employers whose duties come into effect in the coming months do not know the exact date their duties start, stressing that employers who are not clear about this risk are sometimes unaware they will have to pay the pensions contributions missing because of the delay.

Charles Counsell, executive director of auto-enrolment, said that as 1.8m employers see their automatic enrolment duties switched on in the coming years, the regulator expects to see a rise in the number of times it needs to use its powers.

“My message to small and micro employers is to ensure you leave enough time and be clear about what you will need to do to comply. We are here to help – but we will take action if an employer is wilfully non compliant.”

Pensions minister Ros Altmann said she was encouraged that the overwhelming majority of employers are continuing to fulfil their automatic enrolment duties, but added that there is no room for complacency.

“The rollout to small and micro firms only began recently. I recognise they will face different pressures from larger companies and would like to encourage them to visit the Pensions Regulator’s website without delay to find out what they need to do.

“We want to help ensure employers know how to fulfil their responsibilities to their staff, and to minimise the need to take firm action against those who fail to do so.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com