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Will you get a visit from The Pensions Regulator?

6 top tips on how to ensure you have complied with workplace pensions, when the pension regulator contacts you. 

As part of their ongoing enforcement activity, The Pensions Regulator announced yesterday that spot checks will be carried out on employers across the UK to make sure they’re complying with their workplace pensions duties.  The Regulator plans to visit businesses from a range of industry sectors, including those who they’ve identified as being more at risk of failing to meet their duties, such as the hospitality and retail sectors.  If you’re selected for a visit, you’ll be given a short period of notice before the inspection. 


During the spot checks the Regulator will investigate any non-compliance, help employers get back on track or take enforcement action where necessary.  The Regulator has made it clear that deliberate non compliance won’t be tolerated.


So if the Regulator comes calling, what can you do to ensure you’ve complied?  Here are a few quick pointers:-

  1. Firstly, make sure you choose a qualifying pension scheme that meets all of the legal requirements of a workplace pension.
  2. Set up your workplace pension before your staging date, even if you’re planning to use postponement.
  3. Make sure you send the correct statutory postponement letters, enrolment letters and non-qualifying letters to your staff within the legal timescales. 
  4. Check pension contributions really carefully the first time they’re calculated by your payroll software – check that the tax relief basis, the pensionable salary basis and the contribution rates are in line with what you’ve agreed with your pension provider, and pay these pension contributions to your pension provider on time, before the 19th of the following month.
  5. Not many people are aware of Scheme Certification, which is a requirement if you’ve chosen a pensionable salary definition of Basic Salary, Total Earnings or a Basic Salary with an underpin.  You’ll need to set up your Certificate at staging and re-certify every 12 to 18 months.
  6. Finally, keep records about your staff’s assessments, contributions and eligibility each pay period, for at least 6 years, and keep information about your pension provider and scheme design.



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