Sharp increase in fines and penalties meted out over pension deadlines
The number of penalties and fines dealt out to companies who fail to meet their AE pension deadlines has soared.
15,073 compliance notices, ordering business owners to adhere to pension regulations were issued between July and September. That is almost 60% of the total since auto-enrolment began in 2012.
Fixed penalty fines of £400 were issued to 3,728 companies. Further escalating penalties of between £50 and £10,000 were handed down to 576 firms.
These are the most fines issued in any quarter. The Pensions Regulator says this is down to the larger number of companies reaching their auto-enrolment staging dates.
Lee French, Director of Corinthian Affinity Solutions Limited, commented: “One in five businesses are missing their staging date and risk being fined so it is really important that they take advice as soon as possible.”
“Auto-enrolment is only partially about pensions. It is mainly about administration, so it's important to plan ahead and ensure the changes required are in place.”
The Pensions Regulator said excuses not being accepted as “reasonable” include illness, reminders not being received and making a mistake.
One example case was a ruling against the owner of an Essex-based recruitment consultancy who had fallen ill. A judge said it was her responsibility to delegate the pensions compliance work rather than miss her staging date by two years. This shows tPR is not listening to excuses so you really do need to consider it sooner rather than later.
How Corinthian can help
To date, the Corinthian Group of Companies has helped more than 500 companies meet their auto-enrolment duties. Over the next 12 months, hundreds of thousands of small businesses will reach their staging date to auto-enrol staff in a qualifying workplace pension scheme.