In a recent blog about workplace pension schemes, we highlighted the fact that simply putting one in place is not enough and that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) requires that it is set up to meet its rules, monitored regularly and delivers good outcomes for members.
Not following the associated rules and regulations can potentially mean hefty fines and, recently, we have seen more evidence that TPR will seek out and prosecute firms which aren’t following the rules.
The TPR makes it very clear on its website that non-compliance will be investigated.
It states: “We have a range of powers for use in our non-compliance investigations. As well as requesting information from employers voluntarily, we're able to issue formal notices asking for information and we're able to carry out inspections at the employer's premises.
We will use the courts to carry out investigations where necessary. Our investigations are conducted to the highest standards, ensuring we regulate with fairness, transparency and consistency.”
Recently, a recruitment firm’s senior team members and directors were accused of illegally opting staff out of its pension scheme by accessing its workplace pension scheme online system and using staff personal data to remove them from the pension scheme. Seven people from the firm are set for prosecution with a court date set for June.
Last year, the managing director of a bus company pleaded guilty to 16 offences of wilfully failing to comply with the law on workplace pension schemes and was ordered to pay more than £60,000 in fines and costs.
Even well-known names falling foul of auto-enrolment regulations. While compliant now, Dunelm Soft Furnishings, which has more than 150 stores in the UK, was forced to rectify £143,000 underpayment of pension contributions having failed to meet its deadline of 31 July 2013. They said it was partly due to technical problems with their payroll system but some staff were left waiting three months after the date at which they should have been auto-enrolled.
If you’d like to know more about how The Goodman Partnership can support the ongoing management of your workplace pension scheme or any other employee benefits, call Graham Rose on tel: 01892 500 600 or click here: www.goodmanemployeebenefits.co.uk/