Automatic enrolment compliance approach published ...
Automatic enrolment compliance approach published for employers and advisers
11 Months ago at 7:42
As the UK’s largest employers gear up for pension auto-enrolment this year, The Pensions Regulator has set out its strategy for tackling non-compliance with the changes to pensions law.
The new duties – introduced for large companies in 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 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, 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 will consider using powers against employers where there is evidence of this behaviour. 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.
Chief executive of The Pensions Regulator, Bill Galvin, 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.”
The regulator’s Compliance & Enforcement strategy and policy published today sets out when and how it will use powers, and includes details on the approach to prosecutions and inspecting business premises.
Executive director for employer compliance, Charles Counsell, said:
“We’re supporting employers every step of the way so it’s clear what they need to do, by when and how they go about doing it. This includes writing direct to all employers at least twice and issuing guidance to their advisers and industry bodies.
“However, where we see persistent or intentional non-compliance we’ll take action, and this will include issuing fines to make sure that employees receive the pension contributions they are due in law.”
Employers can already find out what to do, when and how much they might need to pay in contributions with the regulator’s online interactive tools. And the regulator also has specific technical guidance for advisers, accountants, IFAs and payroll professionals – so they can help their clients comply.
The compliance and enforcement strategy and policy have also been summarised in an easy-to-read guide, so employers of all sizes can better understand the penalties for failure to comply with the law.
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