Auto-enrolment fines rise 146%

Fines issued to employers that fail to comply with their auto-enrolment responsibilities have more than doubled over the last two years, a report from the Pensions Regulator shows.

In 2017/18, there were 36,137 fines issued to employers for not complying with the requirements of auto-enrolment – up from 14,707 such penalties in 2016/17.

The Pensions Regulator said this rise has been in line with an increased number of employers with auto-enrolment responsibilities, and does not indicate a widespread issue of non-compliance.

Employers are legally obliged to automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they are aged between 22 and state pension age, and earning more than £10,000 a year.

After its introduction in 2012, auto-enrolment was phased in over several stages for different sizes of business, so the number of employers required to comply has gradually increased accordingly.

While more than 500,000 employers had declared their compliance with auto-enrolment by 2016/17, this figure rose to 1.1 million in 2017/18.

Ciara Bridge-Butler, press officer at the Pensions Regulator, said:

“Most employers are aware of their ongoing duties, which include record-keeping and maintaining contributions.

“Where an employer does not have expertise in this area, such as a dedicated payroll department, we encourage them to seek help from a professional advisor to ensure they meet their legal duties.”

From 6 April 2019, employers will see their minimum contributions towards an eligible employee’s pension rise from 2% to 3%.

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