TPR used enforcement powers 43,700 times to tackle pensions non-compliance in Q2

Pension jar, coins

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) used its enforcement powers for pensions auto-enrolment non-compliance 43,700 times between April and June 2018, compared to 35,862 times last quarter, according to research by TPR.

Its Compliance and enforcement quarterly bulletin: April-June 2018 report, which provides information on the powers TPR has used, as well as on the cases it has been involved in, also noted that 12,220 fixed penalty notices were issued between April and June 2018, which is a 9.5% increase on the 11,156 fixed penalty notices that were issued last quarter.

Since TPR began recording its compliance and enforcement action in July 2012, a total of 55,556 fixed penalty notices, which are fixed £400 fines issued to employers if they do not comply with statutory notices, or if there is sufficient evidence of a breach of law, were issued.

The research also found that 2,498 escalating penalty notices had been issued between April and June 2018, out of a 12,037 total between July 2012 and June 2018. An escalating penalty notice is a daily fine between £50 and £10,000, depending on how many employees an organisation has, which is issued when an employer fails to comply with a statutory notice.

Between April and June 2018, 27,219 compliance notices, which target auto-enrolment non-compliance of employer duties, were issued; this is the most in any three-month period, and amounts to an average of one compliance notice issued every five minutes. This creates a total of 124,825 compliance notices between July 2012 and June 2018.

A total of 1,495 unpaid contribution notices were issued in April to June 2018; these remedy a late or non-payment due to a qualifying pension scheme. From July 2012 to June 2018, 7,487 unpaid contribution notices were issued.

The report also confirmed that TPR used its powers to take action against trustees 25 times between April and June 2018 for failing to complete a scheme return on time. TPR used its information gathering powers 31 times between April and June 2018 and 162 trustees were appointed to run schemes and protect members’ benefits.

Nicola Parish, executive director of frontline regulation at TPR, said: “Our actions over the quarter demonstrate how we are continuing to develop as an organisation to be clearer, quicker and tougher. We’re using powers for the first time and working closely with other organisations to better protect members of pension schemes.”