The Pensions Regulator has issued its first fines to three employers for failing to meet their automatic enrolment obligations. This compares with 33,660 employers who have registered their compliance with the Regulator. Each of the three employers has been given a £400 fixed penalty notice and would have first received a compliance notice. The Regulator does have power to issue escalating penalties of up to £10,000 per day, so the use of the fixed penalty may indicate the breaches are perceived as relatively minor and/or are in the process of being remedied.
This is a timely reminder, as we pass the second anniversary of the introduction of automatic enrolment, that employers need to be aware of their responsibilities. All employers with 60 or more employees should now be operating automatic enrolment (or making alternative contractual arrangements to comply with their obligations). Those larger employers who have already enrolled their workforces should be keeping their arrangements under review and ensuring that they comply with the enrolment information and reporting requirements for all new joiners. The first round of re-enrolment will take place in 2015 and it is essential that systems are in place to pick up those who opted out the first time round or who have subsequently ceased active membership of the scheme.
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