TPR publishes pension guidance for employers during Covid-19

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has updated its automatic-enrolment guidelines to assist employees during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. 

The new guidance ensures that employees’ pensions are fully protected and employers are supported if they need to make any difficult decisions.

The guidance also provides further information for employers about maintaining pension contributions.

Despite the minimum contributions having to be made on time, TPR has highlighted that there are many flexible options available to support employers.

If an employer is concerned about its contributions, it is being advised to contact its pension provider directly. TPR has written to all pension providers to ensure they are as flexible as possible when agreeing on payment dates.

The time period to report payment failures has been extended from 90 days to 150 days to ensure that trustees and providers have more time to bring payments up-to-date.

Additionally, employers can access information relating to the government’s Coronavirus job retention scheme, allowing them to claim back minimum auto-enrolment employer contributions for employees that have been furloughed.

The guidance for employers also includes what it needs to know about payroll, and what employers can do if employees ask to reduce their contributions or opt-out.

TPR plans to publish further guidance shortly.

Joe Turner, head of automatic-enrolment at TPR, said: “These are unprecedented times and we are acutely aware of the pressure employers are now under. While employers continue to have responsibilities, we are weaving in as much flexibility as possible to help employers and protect savers.

“We are continually reviewing and updating our guidance to respond to the challenges as they unfold. Further guidance will be published shortly outlining in more detail what employers can expect from us in the weeks and months ahead.”