Accounts manager fined £5,000 for auto-enrolment non-compliance

Image credit: Akbar’s

A Bradford-based accounts manager has been fined £5,000 for failing to automatically enrol 103 employees into a workplace pension.

An investigation by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) found that Mansoor Nasir, who was acting as the payroll adviser for nine restaurants based across Birmingham, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East, submitted false declarations of auto-enrolment compliance between September 2014 and May 2017; he had not, in fact, enrolled the restaurants’ 103 employees into a workplace pension.

Knowingly or recklessly providing TPR with false or misleading information is an offence under Section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004; Nasir pleaded guilty to nine charges at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 9 January 2019.

Nasir, who works at Beaumont Management Services, has been ordered to pay a £3,320 fine, £1,560 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

The maximum sentence for this offence in a magistrates’ court is an unlimited fine.

Teresa Szagun, the district judge who sentenced Nasir on 6 February 2019, said: “This legislation is to plan for the financial security of a growing and ageing population. The mischief has an impact not only for those individuals involved, but for society as a whole.”

The restaurants involved are Akbar’s, Akbar’s Balti Restaurant, Cafe Akbar, Akbar Balti Manchester, Akbar Restaurant Birmingham, Akbar Balti Sheffield, Akbar Restaurant Newcastle, Akbar Leeds and Akbar Restaurant Middlesbrough.

Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment at TPR, added: “Nasir claimed he didn’t know what he needed to do to put the staff into their workplace pensions, but instead of asking us for help, he put his head in the sand.

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“There is guidance on our website and we also have people on hand to offer employers and advisers help on how to comply with their automatic enrolment duties. Nasir’s lies to us have now left him with an entirely avoidable bill and a criminal record.”

Akbar’s is unavailable for comment at time of publication.