Pensions Regulator renews auto-enrolment employer ‘spot checks’ after COVID hiatus

by | May 5, 2022

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Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, comments:

“The Pensions Regulator’s on-site enforcement activity was understandably curtailed by the pandemic. With COVID restrictions now lifted, TPR is sending a message loud and clear to any employer temped to dodge their auto-enrolment duties – we are watching you.

“It makes sense for the regulator to focus its attentions on firms who it suspects are not making the right contributions to their employees’ pensions. This is ultimately what matters most to staff, particularly as minimum contributions under auto-enrolment are already unlikely to deliver the standard of living in retirement many people are hoping for.

“Where non-compliance happens by genuine error, TPR’s approach has been to work with employers to sort this out. However, the regulator has a hefty toolbox of power at its disposal for persistent offenders, including daily fines of up to £10,000 depending on the size of the business.

“TPR hasn’t been backward in coming forward since auto-enrolment started, using its enforcement powers a whopping 600,000 times over the past decade.

“This in part reflects the complexity in complying with the rules, particularly for small businesses who previously had little or no engagement with pensions at all.”

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