UK’s Pensions Regulator to clamp down on rogue practices UK’s Pensions Regulator to clamp down on rogue practices

UK’s Pensions Regulator to clamp down on rogue practices
02 Aug 2018

The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced it is cracking down on employers suspected of providing it with misleading information relating to their automatic enrolment duties.

According to People Management, the pensions watchdog intends to conduct around 100 spot checks per month. In particular, it will look for cases where two sources of data appear inconsistent – for example, an employer reporting that 20 staff members are enrolled, when PAYE filings reveal it has 50 employees.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s director of automatic enrolment, said: "It is an offence for employers to provide TPR with false information on their declaration of compliance, but there are tell-tale signs indicating an employer might not be telling the truth. We can also detect employers who are failing to meet their automatic enrolment duties despite being issued with a penalty, and we will take action if we suspect either of these is the case."

Nathan Long, senior pensions analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told People Management that the inspections should act as a wake-up call for employers.

"The key here is that, if employers think they don’t have to comply, the whole system of auto enrolment will fall through," he explained. "What needs to be created is the understanding among employers that there is no wiggle room."

The spot checks will start later this month and take place across the country.

In May, TPR said it received more than 80 calls every week from people who suspected their employers were not complying with workplace pension laws.

As a result, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) proposed giving TPR powers in June to issue seven-figure fines and possible criminal sanctions to companies that mismanage their pensions pots. The proposal was the first in a series of consultations based on the DWP’s ‘Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes’ white paper, which was published in March.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced it is cracking down on employers suspected of providing it with misleading information relating to their automatic enrolment duties.

According to People Management, the pensions watchdog intends to conduct around 100 spot checks per month. In particular, it will look for cases where two sources of data appear inconsistent – for example, an employer reporting that 20 staff members are enrolled, when PAYE filings reveal it has 50 employees.

Darren Ryder, TPR’s director of automatic enrolment, said: "It is an offence for employers to provide TPR with false information on their declaration of compliance, but there are tell-tale signs indicating an employer might not be telling the truth. We can also detect employers who are failing to meet their automatic enrolment duties despite being issued with a penalty, and we will take action if we suspect either of these is the case."

Nathan Long, senior pensions analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told People Management that the inspections should act as a wake-up call for employers.

"The key here is that, if employers think they don’t have to comply, the whole system of auto enrolment will fall through," he explained. "What needs to be created is the understanding among employers that there is no wiggle room."

The spot checks will start later this month and take place across the country.

In May, TPR said it received more than 80 calls every week from people who suspected their employers were not complying with workplace pension laws.

As a result, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) proposed giving TPR powers in June to issue seven-figure fines and possible criminal sanctions to companies that mismanage their pensions pots. The proposal was the first in a series of consultations based on the DWP’s ‘Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes’ white paper, which was published in March.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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China tweaks its pension insurance system

Nest trials new UK pensions savings model

How to get value for money from your workplace pension scheme

 

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