Thousands of small employers complete their workplace pensions duties

28 January 2016

More than 90% of the first small employers required to put their staff into a workplace pension have now complied with the law, showing that automatic enrolment is successful for all sizes of employer.

Around 12,000 small and micro employers became subject to the new legal duties last summer. The majority have put eligible staff into a pension without The Pensions Regulator having to use its powers although, as expected, a number needed the additional nudge of enforcement action.

The Regulator’s latest quarterly Compliance and Enforcement bulletin shows that since the start of automatic enrolment:

  • 4,818 compliance notices have been issued
  • Around half of these (2,596) were issued between October and December last year.
  • A total of 1,594 £400 Fixed Penalty Notice fines have now been issued to employers.
  • Just over a thousand (1,013) Fixed Penalty Notices were issued in the last quarter of 2015.

Minister for Pensions, Ros Altmann said that the sharp rise in the number of statutory notices issued by the Regulator reflects the rise in the numbers of employers with automatic enrolment duties and the changing employer type.

Other key findings from the bulletin:

  • The regulator is again warning employers to start planning in good time. The majority of compliance notices were issued because employers had left their preparations too late.
  • Employers and their advisers should be aware that an employer issued with a fine will still be required to pay it, even when they complied with their duties.
  • Employers can become non-compliant by failing to complete their declaration of compliance because they wrongly assumed their business adviser was doing this for them. Employers and their advisers should be clear who is completing what automatic enrolment task and advisers should be clear about what services they offer.

Read the Regulator’s full press release