TPR issues first escalated auto-enrolment fines

The challenges of auto-enrolling weekly pensions

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued its first four escalated auto-enrolment penalties, which range from £50 to £10,000 a day depending on the severity of the breach.

The organisations received fixed penalty notices for failure to comply with a statutory notice or specific employer duties.

The quarterly bulletin from TPR also found:

  • 198 employers were fined for failing to comply with their workplace pensions duties between 1 January and 31 March 2015.
  • 621 cases of failing to comply with auto-enrolment were closed during the quarter.

David White, managing director of Creative Auto Enrolment, said: It’s no surprise to see that penalty notices from The Pensions Regulator have once again increased over the last quarter.

“In this period we’ve seen an increase of almost 20% when it comes to fixed penalty notices, and over the last six months that figure is even bigger, with the number of notices rocketing from just three to 367. I fully expect this to continue as the UK’s 1.2 million SMEs [small and medium-size enterprises] stage over the next three years.

“What is particularly interesting is the first ever escalating penalty notices being given out to employers. Despite support from TPR and previous fines, they have still failed to comply with the legislation, proof that ignoring auto-enrolment simply isn’t an option.

“TPR has shown that it has teeth and will bite, and with all the main political parties supporting the legislation, there is no prospect of it disappearing any time soon.

“These figures once again prove that businesses are struggling and that it’s essential for employers and their advisers to find support to help them through the process. [They] cannot risk getting auto-enrolment wrong.”