Employers warned about TPR re-enrolment fines

Employers warned about TPR re-enrolment fines

Businesses should put measures in place to correctly re-enrol their staff into workplace pensions or they face being fined by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), a law firm has warned.

Business need to re-enrol certain workers back into the qualifying pension scheme every three years with those failing to comply due a fixed penalty notice of £400.

If this is not paid within a certain period, it can rise to between £50 and £10,000 a day until the fine has been paid, Nelsons Solicitors has warned. 

Fabian Taylor, independent financial adviser at Nelsons, said businesses should make sure the data the they hold on employees is correct and up-to-date.

This comes after integration platform Pensionsync called on TPR to put regular data accuracy checks in place after the firm found errors in half of the data employers sent to providers on the auto-enrolment contributions of their staff between August 2017 and July 2018. The firm had analysed data on contributions to more than 10,000 schemes.

Mr Taylor said: "Employers should start by selecting a suitable re-enrolment date that will apply to all eligible jobholders.

"Businesses have a six-month window from which they can choose a re-enrolment date. It starts three months before the third anniversary of their last staging date or last re-enrolment date and ends three months after.

"At the re-enrolment date, businesses will need to check which workers are eligible for re-enrolment. To make this easier, employers should make sure their worker data is up-to-date by checking they hold the correct details about all those affected by re-enrolment."

Businesses could be handed additional fines if they do not complete the mandatory re-declaration of compliance, Mr Taylor added.

He said: "Businesses must also complete a re-declaration of compliance within five calendar months of their re-enrolment date even if they had no eligible members of staff to re-enrol.  

In the TPR’s 41-page annual commentary and analysis report published on 20 September the regulator found that 84 per cent of employees are saving into a workplace pension, up from 77 per cent last year.  

TPR’s report also showed that the total amount saved in workplace pensions by eligible staff in 2017 was £90.3bn, up from £86bn in the previous year.  

Mr Taylor called on businesses to pay attention to which of their workers need to be re-enroled.  

"Businesses will need to carry out an assessment of certain staff on their chosen re-enrolment date to see whether they meet the age and earnings criteria to be re-enroled," he said.

"Eligible workers are aged between twenty two and the state pension age, and earn at least £10,000 in a year.

"This applies to staff who have previously been assessed for auto enrolment and have opted out of their auto enrolment pension scheme; left the pension scheme under the scheme rules but not as an opt-out or people who have stayed in their pension scheme but have chosen to reduce the level of pension contributions to below the minimum level required by auto enrolment."