Pension regulator commences first auto-enrolment prosecution
- Date: Monday 25th September 2017
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The Pensions Regulator is bringing the first pension auto-enrolment prosecution over allegations that a bus company and its Managing Director deliberately avoided enrolling staff into a workplace pension scheme.
The UK’s workplace pensions regulator is accusing bus company Stotts Tours of failing to comply with its legal obligations in relation to enrolling 36 members of staff in a pension scheme.
The Managing Director is also accused of “consenting or conniving” in the bus company’s offence, or allowing the offence to be committed by neglect.
Is your auto-enrolment scheme open to all eligible employees?
The case is an important reminder that auto-enrolment legislation requires all employers to provide eligible workers with a qualifying pension scheme, to auto-enrol them into the scheme and to make minimum levels of contributions to the workers’ pensions.
The requirements have been phased in since 2012, with the majority of employers now under a legal obligation to provide a pension scheme. By February 2018, all employers will be covered by the requirement to auto-enrol workers in pension schemes.
Auto-enrolment legislation is enforced by the Pensions Regulator who have the authority to carry out spot checks, issue compliance notices, conduct inspections or issue fines to employers. The Regulator can also initiate criminal proceedings against employers that “wilfully fail to comply” with the legislation, as well as directors who are implicated in any failure to comply with the law.
Employers that wilfully fail to comply with key auto-enrolment or re-enrolment duties or fail to enable staff to opt in to pension membership may be convicted of a criminal offence and subject to a fine and/or up to two years’ imprisonment.
Source: Gavin Parrott, SSG