In a recent case on Merseyside, a pre-school nursery and its main director have been ordered to pay £8,200 for failing to comply with their pension duties and wilfully failing to enrol staff into a pension scheme.
The Director, Christine Moore, had told The Pensions Regulator (TPR) that her company had auto-enrolled 13 nursery staff into a pension scheme.
However, following an alert from a whistle-blower, TPR investigated and found that, while a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been auto-enrolled, so Ms Moore was also charged with providing TPR with false and misleading information.
There are certain legal duties employers must meet for automatic enrolment and failure to undertake these can result in enforcement action by TPR, such as compliance notices and fixed penalty fines.
TPR is the UK regulator of work-based pension schemes and was set up as an executive, non-departmental public body in 2004. Under the Pensions Act 2008, TPR was given a statutory objective to maximise employers’ compliance under the legislation relating to automatic enrolment.
The Regulator has powers to take enforcement measures such as issuing statutory notices, fines and even taking criminal prosecutions which derive from the Pensions Act 2008, the Pensions Act 2004, and earlier legislation. However, the Regulator primarily aims to stop problems from developing at an early stage.
A spokesperson for TPR said, the outcome is a warning to employers that they must comply with their automatic enrolment and ensure that staff receive the pension they are entitled to.
To find out more about how Kirk Newsholme Financial Planning can help, please contact Richard Leonard at Richard.Leonard@knfp.co.uk or by calling 0113 204 4215.