The Pensions Regulator names schemes that fail to meet basic auto-enrolment duties

Pension-drawThe Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published the names of workplace pension schemes whose trustees have been fined for not providing legally required documentation.

Fines were issued to pension trustees for failure to submit scheme returns after receiving a warning from TPR, and for failure to prepare a chair’s statement.

Pension schemes that have been fined for failing to submit an annual chair statement at 30 June 2017 include the Travis Perkins Pension and Dependents’ Benefit Scheme and the Idem Furniture Pension and Death Benefits Plan, both of which have been fined £2,000.

The pension schemes that have been fined for failing to submit scheme returns on time, up to 30 June 2017, include a £500 fine for Stressline Staff Pension and Life Assurance Scheme, and a £1,000 fine for the London Borough of Barnet Superannuation Fund.

The lists have been published alongside TPR’s Compliance and enforcement quarterly bulletin: April-June 2017.¬†The published lists include organisations that TPR has secured a court order against for failure to pay¬†escalating penalty notices for auto-enrolment non-compliance, as well as those that have paid escalating penalty notices but have not yet fulfilled their auto-enrolment duties.

An escalating penalty notice is issued if employers continue to be non-compliant after receiving a fixed penalty notice worth £400. An escalating penalty notice can increase by up to £10,000 a day until the fee is paid. Employers that remain non-compliant after being issued with a penalty notice may have to face additional enforcement action, such as prosecution.

Organisations that feature on the list of employers that are subject to a court order following an unpaid escalating penalty notice include The Norfolk Ski Club, which owes £52,500, and Glow Beauty Bar, which owes £35,000.

Employers that feature on the list of organisations that have paid an escalating penalty notice but remain non-compliant with auto-enrolment regulations include Key Staff Recruitment, DFR Roofing, City Sound, and the Oak Brewing Company. Each of these organisations paid £5,000 for an escalating penalty notice.

The bulletin found that 4,794 fixed penalty notices of £400 were issued between April and June 2017, compared to 4,673 in the previous quarter. A total of 1,384 escalating penalty notices were issued between April and June 2017, compared to 1,043 between January and March 2017, and a total of 276 inspections were carried out, compared to 224 in the previous quarter.

Nicola Parish, executive director for frontline regulation at TPR, said: “It is concerning that the trustees of some schemes, including those of some high profile organisations, are failing to complete some of their most basic legal pension duties.

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“We expect trustees to comply with their basic duties including providing information in the scheme return on time. Accurate and up-to-date data is the lifeblood of a regulator and enables us to operate effectively. Non-compliance with basic requirements can also be an indicator of broader governance issues within a scheme.

‚ÄúWe want all members to be saving in well-run schemes and will take action to help schemes get the basics right. Size doesn‚Äôt matter, if you breach your duties, you will face action.”