Employment Law | Pension Regulator Auto-Enrolment Strategy Published

With pension auto-enrolment coming into force for large employers later this year, The Pensions Regulator has published its strategy for tackling non-compliance with the changes to pensions law and has launched letter templates to help employers fulfil legal obligations to write to their employees.

The new duties, which will be introduced for large companies on October 1 2012 and for all employers by 2017, will see certain workers auto-enrolled into a pension scheme, with employer and employee payments paid automatically.

The regulator will provide information and support so that employers know what they need to do to fulfil their new duties and enable them to take action at the right time.  However, employers who fail to comply with their new duties may be subject to statutory notices, penalties or escalating fines.

In addition to the requirement to auto-enrol, from July this year all employers will be banned from offering incentives to their workers to opt out of an auto-enrolment pension.  This will include refusing to employ someone because they want to join the company pension scheme.

The regulator will consider using powers against employers where there is evidence of this behaviour and will provide a whistle-blowing facility for employees, through which confidential reports of suspected non-compliance can be made.

Chief Executive of The Pensions Regulator, Bill Galvin said: Every employer needs to play their part to make these pension reforms work, and our goal is to make that task as straightforward as possible.

“For those that do not engage, however, we want to make it clear there are consequences. We’ll apply the law fairly and where we find consistent or wilful non-compliance we will use our powers, so that employees do not miss out on contributions they are due.”

The Pensions Regulator will have the power to fine employers as much as £10,000 per day for breaches of their auto-enrolment duties.

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London