Firms need to be aware of pension fines

Firms are failing to sign staff up to a workplace pension scheme
Firms are failing to sign staff up to a workplace pension scheme
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A number of businesses who have failed to sign staff up to a workplace pension scheme have been hit with escalating fines by the Pensions regulator for the first time and Chris Calvert, partner of Winckley Payroll Services based in Preston city centre is warning other firms not to get caught out.

Under current workplace pension rules, all employers with at least one member of staff have to undertake certain duties, including enrolling those who are eligible into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards the pension.

All businesses in the UK with at least one employee are expected to create a workplace pension scheme for their employees by the end of 2018 and most will already be aware of their staging dates, if it has not already passed.

Under this process, known as auto-enrolment, businesses must meet certain requirements by their set staging date, which is based upon the number of people they employ.

Those that miss their staging date are initially sent a statutory notice reminding them to comply however, those who persistently and deliberately refuse to comply, or who breach workplace pension rules, could face a fixed penalty notice of £400.

Failure to pay this fixed penalty notice could lead to a series of escalating fines, with a prescribed daily rate of £50 to £10,000, depending on the number of staff the business employs.

Chris at Preston-based Winckley Payroll Services, said: “So far the Pensions Regulator has only handed out escalating penalty notices to four firms, but this number is likely to increase as more staging dates pass.

“All businesses in the UK with at least one employee are expected to create a workplace pension scheme for their employees by the end of 2018 and most will already be aware of their staging dates, if it has not already passed.

“Failing to enrol staff into a workplace pension carries with it the prospect of hefty fines that could have a significant impact on you and your company.”

Chris concluded that firms need to take penalty notices seriously.

The Pensions Regulator has confirmed that it will take civil action through the courts to recover penalties and will prosecute employers who deliberately and wilfully fail to comply with their pensions duties.