Auto-Enrolment – compliance and fines

In March, the Pension’s Regulator published its quarterly declaration of compliance bulletin.

It showed the total number of employers fined for failing to comply with their workplace pension duties had reached 169 by the end of last year.

There were also a significant number of compliance notices (1,139) issued. Despite the clear message and reminders to prepare early, many employers leave it too late or do not prepare at all.

Deliberate non-compliance will not be tolerated and employers who fail, risk financial penalty.

Declaration of compliance

With the aim of helping small employers learn from others and avoid non-compliance, the bulletin also highlights the main reasons why the Pension’s Regulator have needed to use their powers.

One of the main reasons some employers were caught out was because they failed to meet their declaration of compliance deadline. The declaration of compliance must be completed five months after the staging date.

Take action

Employers should start planning for auto-enrolment 12 months before their staging date. They will need to ensure all their staff records are up to date and have a pension scheme in place six months beforehand.

They should also ensure their payroll solution has the capability to carry out auto-enrolment processes and is compatible with other systems. The way to ensure this is to test systems well in advance of the start date.

The Pension’s Regulator’s message to small and micro employers is to keep an eye out for the letter from them and take action.