Under the Pensions Act 2008, all employers are required to provide a workplace pension, to communicate their responsibilities and each employees rights under the legislation and to pay the appropriate level of contributions on behalf of eligible employees or those who choose to join the scheme.
There are very few exceptions to the rule. Single employee companies, where that employee is a director of the company, those who are self-employed, and company directors who are meeting their duties elsewhere. Those who are under the age of 16 or over 75 years are not classified under the workplace pension regulations.
For everyone else, regardless of his/her intentions, you must carry out the necessary communications, assess them for eligibility each period, monitor opt-in, early joining, opt-out, or cease notifications from your workforce, and keep track of the tri-annual assessment period. (If an employee chooses to opt-out or cease paying contributions, after 3 years he/she must be re-assessed) A full explanation of the auto-enrolment process can be viewed via The Pensions Regulator website:
Our auto-enrollment software is designed to make sure you always remain compliant with the legislation. We are one of only 25 companies in the UK who work directly with the Pensions Regulator - if there are changes around the corner, we know about them first so that our software is ready to keep you right, and we offer that functionality at only £4 per month (exc. VAT).
If you are determined not to use our pensions module, our payroll software is and will continue to be free, but you will need to be able to prove to the regulator that you are compliant when doing so if and when this evidence is requested!
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has recently published a list of employers that have not complied with pensions auto-enrolment regulations after being issued an escalating penalty notice.
This list includes organisations that TPR has secured a court order against for failure to pay escalating penalty notices for auto-enrolment non-compliance, as well as those that have paid escalating penalty notices but have not yet fulfilled their auto-enrolment duties.
Employers that remain non-compliant after being issued with a penalty notice may have to face additional enforcement action, such as prosecution.
Organisations that feature on the list of employers that are subject to a court order include fabricated products organisation EWM and Woodlands Manor Care Home. Both businesses owe £52,500 for unpaid escalating penalty notices.
These lists, which are updated and published quarterly, have been made public to highlight the importance of meeting auto-enrolment requirements, and to demonstrate the large fines that employers can incur for non-compliance.
Charles Counsell, executive director of automatic enrolment at TPR, said: “Employers who wilfully refuse to become compliant should be in no doubt that we will take enforcement action against them, as these lists show. Automatic enrolment is not an option, it is the law. Allowing some employers to get away with non-compliance is not fair on the employees who are denied the workplace pensions they are entitled to and is not fair on the vast majority of businesses who have taken the time to meet their responsibilities."
“To date, we have only had to bring court proceedings against a tiny proportion of employers, but every court case is one too many; and one that employers can easily avoid by becoming compliant.”