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The Pensions Regulator recently issued updated statistics on the number of time it had "used its powers" over the last quarter. The number of Compliance Notices issued, where an employer has failed to meet their auto-enrolment duties, has quadrupled compared to the previous quarter with 469 compared to 119.
There has been a 70% increase in the number of notices issued, where employers have either paid contributions late, or not at all, and a 50% increase in the number of fines issued.
Some of the excuses are along the "my dog ate my homework" line, with one employer disputing a notice on the grounds he never received it, even though The Pensions Regulator has a telephone recording of him acknowledging receipt!
The majority of non-compliance has been unintentional on the employer’s part, with business owners perhaps putting off the job of sorting their workplace pension until the last minute. This is the theme of The Pensions Regulator’s latest awareness campaign, with Workie, the big fluffy workplace pension, who most definitely shouldn’t be ignored.
Since the introduction of auto-enrolment in 2012, more than 60,000 employers have been affected by the new workplace pensions legislation. Most employers so far have completed their duties on time but with 500,000 businesses due to reach their staging date over the next 12 months, the number of compliance notices and fines is expected to rise.
There is some good news in The Pensions Regulator’s latest bulletin though. 9 out of 10 employers staging over the next few months had begun to prepare already. Levels of awareness and understanding of the issues around workplace pensions within small businesses has also significantly improved.
If you think you might need to set up a scheme, or would like to talk through your circumstances, please give us a call on 0800 160 1233. We’ve got lots of useful information and guidance on our website if you need it: http://www.aefasttrack.com/
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"We wanted to embrace Auto-Enrolment to get good pensions in place for our team early. We interviewed a couple of companies to assist us, and Sarah gave a very good case for her company. We are confident that we made the right decision! From selecting the right provider, through to setting up the systems and even presenting to our staff, Sarah and her team were excellent. I don't hesitate recommending the Auto-Enrolment Bureau to anyone looking to enrol their company. My only words of advice are, do it early!"
Richard Hardstaff, Director, Polydron (UK) Ltd