Reasonable excuse may be no excuse: Don’t Ignore the Workplace Pension

31 October 2016

31 October 2016

The Quarterly Bulletin 1 July – 30 September 2016 reports the number of penalties issued together with the number of Escalating Penalty Notices.

Pensions Minister Richard Harrington said: "Automatic enrolment is a great success. So far, more than 250,000 employers are helping more than 6.7 million people save into a workplace pension. The duty is being extended to all UK employers and they must ensure they enrol their staff into a scheme by the deadline for their firm, it's the law."

The report also looks to make clear that to be able to use the reason of Reasonable Excuse to explain why you have been unable to comply with your duties, the reason needs to have been something that was unexpected or outside of your control.

The following reasons will not be accepted as amounting to a reasonable excuse:

  • You relied on someone else who has let you down
  • The online system was too difficult to use
  • You didn’t get a reminder
  • You made a mistake
  • You or a member of staff was ill

Charles Counsell, Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment at TPR said: "We recognise that employers have unique circumstances and challenges, but the law is still the law. Employers who are struggling should contact us, we are here to help - do not wait for a fine.

"The vast majority of employers are successfully meeting their automatic enrolment duties and are doing the right thing for their staff.  A small minority do leave plans too late but in most cases the nudge of a compliance notice is enough to get them back on track and avoid a fine."