Regulator reveals increase in auto-enrolment fines
The first 2015 quarterly bulletin published by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) revealed that the number of fixed penalty notices increased in 2015, with 198 penalties for failing to comply with workplace pensions duties handed down in the first three months of the year.
A total of 166 employers were fined for failing to comply with their workplace pensions duties in the last three months of 2014, with a total of 367 having now been issued with a fixed penalty for failing to hit deadlines or comply with employee communication requirements. There were also 213 compliance notices handed out over the period from January to March 2015. In total, there had been 1,529 made by the regulator.
The first four escalating penalty notices were also handed out over the first quarter of 2015. These can be between £50 and £10,000 per day for failure to comply with a statutory notice.
Elsewhere, information notice hand-outs, whereby The Pensions Regulator can demand information under section 72 of the Pensions Act 2004, were at a high, at 15, against a figure of 31 since the regulator began this activity.
A comment within the TPR bulletin noted that:
“It’s no surprise to see that penalty notices from the Pensions Regulator have once again increased over the last quarter. In this period we’ve seen an increase of 20 per cent when it comes to fixed penalty notices – and over the last six months that figure is even bigger, with the number of notices rocketing from just three to 367.
“What is particularly interesting is the first ever escalating penalty notices being given out to employers. Despite support from TPR and previous fines, they have still failed to comply with the legislation – proof that ignoring auto enrolment simply isn’t an option.”