Posted on 6th March

Pension Regulator plans spot checks on businesses

The regulator will be carrying spot checks on businesses it suspects are not complying with their auto-enrolment obligations.

The regulator said these were part of an ongoing enforcement activity to ensure employers were meeting their duties correctly.

This announcement comes in the wake of soaring instances of non compliance among small businesses in the last year.

Failure to comply with auto enrolment rules could show up on employers credit ratings.

The regulator said employers would be given a short period of notice before the inspection with the regulator focusing on industries such as hospitality and retail.

In addition the regulator said these visits would provide a valuable insight into employers behaviour, and help employers get back on track or take enforcement action where necessary.

This would also serve as a warning to employers that they cannot ignore the workplace pension and that deliberate non compliance will not be tolerated.

Overall the regulator is delighted with the success of workplace pensions with more than seven million now saving by this method.

The vast majority of instances of non compliance occurred in the last year and involved small businesses.In the last quarter of 2016 a total of 6,296 compliance notices were issued bringing the total of notices issued since 2012 to 31,680.

In the same period, 919 employers were handed £400 fixed penalty notices, bringing the total since 2012 to 9,831.A further 870 escalating penalty notices were issued in the period bringing the total to 1,477.

It is clear that the regulator is not going to go away and it going to be proactive over the coming months.

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