What if I ignore it?
Then you’re probably going to be in trouble!
Auto enrolment is not a voluntary scheme, it’s a statutory requirement and the penalties for ‘doing nothing’ can be severe. You, the employer, are responsible for meeting the legal duties the Pensions Act sets out and, if you fail to do so, you may face enforcement action, compliance notices and fines or, ultimately, prison.
The Act gave statutory objectives to The Pensions Regulator, the UK’s regulator of work-based pension schemes, making them responsible for enforcing auto enrolment compliance. From its roll out on 1 October 2012, every employer, no matter what their size, is legally expected to comply fully with the new legislation, enrolling workers into a workplace pension scheme as prescribed, and making regular contributions should they be required to do so.
Every employer has a duties start date, the date by which they are expected to have complied with the new legislation, and there’s a series of ongoing ‘actions’ that are based on this date. To prove that you’ve met your legal duties, you have to submit a declaration of compliance to The Pensions Regulator after your duties start date, a declaration that is then repeated every three years.
Not doing so could be expensive. Depending on circumstances, you may get a warning letter with a deadline by which you must meet your duties. If you fail to do so, The Pensions Regulator will serve you with a statutory notice. This may address a number of issues, expecting you to make any unpaid contributions that you and your employees have missed, including paying any interest due.
If you fail to take action within the time table set out, you’ll start to receive penalty notices. Depending on the breach, this may start as a fine of £400, but could escalate to a fine of between £50 and £10,000 per day depending on the number of employees you have.
You may also receive a prohibition notice preventing you from recruiting any further staff; if this is breached you may receive a fine of between £1,000 and £5,000.
Ultimately, failing to enrol staff into a pension scheme or providing false information on your declaration of compliance, is considered a criminal offence with a maximum punishment of further fines or two years imprisonment.
How can One Financial Solutions help you?
One Financial Solutions is here to help you. We can help you plan and implement everything necessary to ensure you comply with the new legislation and fulfil your legal obligations.
If you already have a workplace pension scheme, we’ll review it to make sure it can be used and will recommend any changes that may be needed. If you need a new scheme, we’ll find one for you and, as a truly independent firm of financial advisers, we’ll make sure the scheme we recommend is selected from the entire market and is the one that is best for both you and your staff.
More than that, if you’d like us to administer the entire scheme for you, we can do that too.
So, if you’re looking for specific help about auto enrolment or just want advice on the subject, please call us on 020 3714 9565 or ask us to call you by sending an email to email@example.com.