Pensions - Articles - TPR strives to get tougher on employers and pension schemes

More employers have been ordered to pay missing pension contributions, according to new data released by The Pensions Regulator (TPR)

 TPR has published its latest compliance and enforcement quarterly bulletin (PDF, 67kb, 14 pages) and has updated its quarterly lists which name both pension schemes and employers which TPR has taken action against.

 The bulletin highlights that TPR used its powers to issue Unpaid Contributions Notices to 753 employers between July and September this year, an increase from 653 in the previous quarter. These notices require an employer to ensure all backdated contributions are paid within 28 days.

 Darren Ryder, Director of Automatic Enrolment at TPR, said: “It is not enough to just comply with automatic enrolment laws by signing staff up to a scheme. Employers must also meet their duties to contribute into their employees’ pensions every month.

 “Automatic enrolment has been hugely successful. There are now more than 800,000 compliant employers with more than 8.7million workers in workplace pension schemes. The vast majority of employers are doing the right thing for their staff and are meeting their pension duties.

 “Clearly 753 employers not paying contributions is a very small proportion of those that are compliant – less than 0.1%. But every employer which is failing to make payments into their staff’s pension pot is one too many. We will not let employers get away with failing to meet their duties and we will take action.”

 As TPR strives to be tougher on employers and pension schemes which fail to meet expected standards, the quarterly bulletin also highlights:

 Automatic enrolment
 Nearly 50% increase in the number of compliance notices issued to employers compared to the last quarter for failing to meet automatic enrolment duties.
 5,479 more fixed penalty notices issued in the last three months to employers for failing to comply with a statutory notice or a specific duty.
 A total of 21,753 cases of powers being used in automatic enrolment between July and September 2017.
 Pension schemes
 327 occasions where powers have been used, including making 209 trustee appointments.
 High profile cases, including Tata Steel UK, as well as action to improve basic governance in pension schemes, for example issuing 37 fines to trustees for failing to complete a scheme return and 18 for failing to submit a chair’s statement.
 How TPR is getting tougher on late DB scheme funding valuations and recovery plans by issuing improvement notices and third party notices.

 TPR’s lists include 169 employers taken to court for failing to pay an escalating penalty notice for not meeting their automatic enrolment duties. The fines total more than £1.25million.

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