The Pensions Regulator has announced that it has taken enforcement action against employers for not meeting their auto-enrolment duties. In its latest automatic enrolment compliance and enforcement bulletin (covering the period 1 July to 30 September 2014), the Regulator states that it issued three fixed penalty notices of £400 and 163 compliance notices over this period. This is a timely reminder for employers of the importance of ensuring that they comply with their auto-enrolment duties. Common non-compliance issues included:
- inadequate use of the postponement procedure
- failure to follow the correct processes for workers opting in and out of a scheme
- failure to reassess eligibility for auto-enrolment for those not in a qualifying scheme during each relevant pay reference period, and
- failure to register properly with the Regulator.
Separately, the DWP is consulting on the level of:
- the earnings trigger for the 2015/16 tax year (which is currently set at £10,000 per year and is used to decide whether a worker should be auto-enrolled), and
- the band of qualifying earnings (on which minimum contributions under the legislation must be based and which is currently set between £5,772 and £41,865 per year) for the next tax year.
We expect the final figures to be announced in December 2014 and to take effect on 6 April 2015.