More than 160 employers were issued fixed fines of £400 last year for failing to comply with Auto Enrolment regulations – with the vast majority of penalties coming in the last three months of 2014.
It appears that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is beginning to flex its muscles over Auto Enrolment failures.
The TPR issued 166 businesses with fines in October, November and December of last year, in direct contrast with only three firms receiving penalties over the previous nine months.
There was also a surge in the number of compliance notices issued in the final quarter – at 1,139 – compared to 163 between July and September 2014.
The majority of those notices related to a failure by employers to complete their declaration of compliance by December, with around 30,000 medium sized employers expected to do so.
According to research from the regulator, the majority of employers who have completed the AE process regretted not beginning it sooner.
Director of AE Charles Counsell said: “My message to all employers is that failing to declare within five months of your staging date means you risk being fined, which is why we recommend you start your automatic enrolment planning and preparation 12 months before staging.
“With the mass market roll out of automatic enrolment to large numbers of small businesses in the coming months, we expect to see an increase in how often we need to use our powers.”
If you need any help with meeting your Auto Enrolment obligations, contact Lifetime on 01226 208600 and ask for the Pensions Department, or you can email [email protected]
For further details on our Auto Enrolment proposition, go to: https://www.lifetime-fm.com/how-we-can-help/auto-enrolment/