Automatic enrolment spot checks for employers across the North East

12 April 2018

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is carrying out spot checks across the North East of England to identify employers that are not complying with their pension duties.

In the last month inspection teams have visited more than a dozen businesses in towns and cities across the region - including Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, North Shields, South Shields, Bishop Auckland and Stockton-on-Tees - to check that qualifying staff are being given the workplace pensions they are entitled to.

It is part of a nationwide enforcement campaign which began in London last year, ensuring employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties correctly.

This was the first time these checks have been done in the North East. Short-notice inspections have already begun in Northern Ireland, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, among others.

The checks help TPR to understand whether employers are facing any unnecessary challenges that we can help them with, such as issues with their systems that we can offer guidance about. But they also highlight employers who have not taken the required steps to become or remain compliant, paving the way for enforcement action against them.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s director of automatic enrolment, said:

"The vast majority of employers are compliant with the law but we are continuing to find a very small proportion of employers who aren’t. In some cases this is down to innocent error. Our visits help us identify why some employers may be struggling so we can support them.

But where we find employers are not complying, in particular when they appear to be doing so deliberately, we will use our powers to ensure they comply so that their workers receive the pensions they are entitled to."

The most recent quarterly automatic enrolment compliance and enforcement bulletin shows that between October and December 2017, TPR issued a total of 7,435 fixed penalty notices and 1,440 escalating penalty notices to employers for non-compliance.

The CIPP offers a one-day training course covering automatic enrolment and pensions for payroll.  Click here to book or for more information.