Under pensions auto enrolment employers are obliged to enrol eligible jobholders in a qualifying pension scheme and make pension contributions on their behalf from the employer’s staging date. Workers are ‘eligible’ if they are between 22 and the State pension age and earn the equivalent of £10,000 per annum. Employers also have duties for employees who fall outside these criteria.
According to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) over a million small employers are due to stage during the last quarter of 2016/17 and 2017/18.
As more employers reach their staging date the amount of penalties being issued has not surprisingly increased. The latest TPR statistics show 3,728 Fixed Penalty Notices of £400 were issued in the quarter to September 2016, more than the total number issued since Auto Enrolment was introduced. These notices were issued for failing to meet the employers’ duties under auto enrolment. Several of these employers appealed against the penalty at a tribunal. Some claimed non-compliance was unintentional and that they had a ‘reasonable excuse’ due to amongst other reasons, confusion between the employer and the payroll administrator as to who was supposed to be doing what, illness, and being short-staffed. The appeals were rejected. If you would like help with complying with your auto enrolment duties please contact us