The Pensions Regulator issues first auto-enrolment fines


The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued its first fines to employers for failing to meet auto-enrolment duties.

It has issued three fixed penalty notices were issued, each levying fines of £400 on employers, according to the TPR’s latest automatic-enrolment Compliance and enforcement bulletin.

TPR has not revealed details of the nature of the breaches resulting in fines.

Employers could have failed to either comply with an unpaid contributions notice or a compliance notice.

The bulletin, which covers April stagers, saw 163 compliance notices issued giving employers a deadline within which to take actions. 

In the same period, the regulator issued eight demands for information and documents on pension schemes.

According to a Freedom of Information request by Creative Auto Enrolment, in October, the number of investigations into auto-enrolment compliance by TPR that result in potential and actual breaches has more than doubled this year, increasing from 23% to 47% since January 

Charles Counsel (pictured), executive director for automatic-enrolment at TPR, said: “We know most employers want to do the right thing and comply with the law. Where we take enforcement action by issuing a compliance notice, this gives employers the necessary wake-up call to provide the pensions their employees are due‎.

“As we deal with smaller employers, we will see more which, despite our message to prepare early, leave it too late or do not comply at all. This type of non-compliance is not acceptable. We expect to see the number of times we need to use our powers increase.

“It’s been two years since the first employers automatically enrolled their eligible workers into a workplace pension.

“In that time, more than 4.7 million workers have been put into a workplace pension scheme by their employer. That’s millions of people who have begun saving thanks to automatic-enrolment. More than 33,000 large and medium employers have complied with their duties.

“But we are not complacent. More than 1.25 million employers need to comply with their new workplace pensions over the next three years. For all these employers, it is vital that they find out their staging date now, and plan early to ensure that they are ready in time.”