The Pensions Regulator reports increase in AE non-compliance during outbreak of coronavirus

23 November 2020

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed that it has seen an increase in the number of unpaid contribution and compliance notices issued this quarter when compared with the previous quarter.

Subsequently, TPR is reminding all employers of their continued Automatic Enrolment (AE) responsibilities.

There has been a 191.4% increase in the number of unpaid contribution notices, which have leapt from 352 to 1,026, and there has also been a 17% increase in compliance notices, which have increased from 13,185 in the previous quarter to 15,420.

The figures demonstrate how the regulator is continuing to take a tough approach to employers who are not complying with their AE duties.

The Director of AE at TPR, Mel Charles, said:

“Employers may have seen their business change because of COVID-19, but their pension duties have not.

While we issued easements at the start of the pandemic, we closely monitored compliance and took action where necessary. We continued to target employers who committed serious breaches and where staff contributions were at immediate risk.

As predicted, we are seeing a return to normal levels of enforcement activity in line with our expectations, but we will monitor this closely.

Indications are that the majority of employers are paying their contributions in full and on time and we have not seen any unusual increase in reports of late payments by pension schemes.

However, employers must remember their pension duties continue and failure to fulfil them may lead to legal action.”

The Bulletin also highlights how TPR secured its first confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002 in September, when a criminal who swindled more than £250,000 from a charity’s pension scheme was instructed to pay back the stolen money or face further jail time. In a separate hearing in October, TPR secured a second confiscation order under POCA for an individual who defrauded a scheme of £292,000.


The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication. For all the latest information, news and resources on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting payroll professions, visit our Coronavirus hub.