Automatic enrolment lessons to be learned from company who was not compliant

25 April 2014

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has published a report detailing the issues that Dunelm Soft Furnishings Ltd encountered when found not to be complying with their employer duties.

Employers who are yet to reach their staging date for automatic enrolment may find the TPR’s report an interesting read as it highlights the areas that led Dunelm to be non-compliant.

Dunelm openly explained to the regulator the difficulties they had experienced and the cause of a number of the issues. The contributory factors were:

  • the bespoke payroll solution had design flaws resulting in significant delay in achieving compliance and completing registration. The bespoke payroll solution did not fulfil the Dunelm specification, was ineffective for automatic enrolment and the reporting capability was not fully functional
  • key members of staff involved in the automatic enrolment project, including the points of contact, had ceased employment with Dunelm at critical points in the automatic enrolment timeline, namely just prior to the staging date and just after registration
  • data quality issues were experienced when uploading employee information to the pension provider which prevented active.

If you are experiencing difficulty in complying with your automatic enrolment duties, contact TPR as soon as possible.

The regulator point out in this report that their overall approach is to educate and enable employers to comply with the legislation. In cases where an employer has not understood their duties or has been unable to comply, the regulator will work with them to try and achieve compliance. Therefore an employer who is experiencing challenges in meeting their automatic enrolment duties should contact the regulator to discuss their situation. The regulator is focused on maximising employer compliance and ensuring that workers get the pensions contributions they are entitled to.

Read the full TPR report on Dunelm