Businesses need to be aware of escalating auto-enrolment fines

Date: 12/05/15

Businesses need to be aware of escalating auto-enrolment fines

A number of businesses who have failed to sign staff up to a workplace pension scheme have been hit with escalating fines by The Pensions Regulator.

Under current workplace pension rules, all employers with at least one member of staff have to undertake certain duties, including enrolling those who are eligible into a workplace pension scheme and contributing towards it.  

Under this process, known as auto-enrolment, businesses must meet certain requirements by their set staging date, which is based upon the number of people they employ. 

Those that miss their staging date are initially sent a statutory notice reminding them to comply however, those who persistently and deliberately refuse to comply, or who breach workplace pension rules, could face a fixed penalty notice of £400. 

Failure to pay this fixed penalty notice could lead to a series of escalating fines, with a prescribed daily rate of £50 to £10,000, depending on the number of staff the business employs.

So far the Pensions Regulator has only handed out escalating penalty notices to four firms, but this number is likely to increase as more staging dates pass.

All businesses in the UK with at least one employee are expected to create a workplace pension scheme for their employees by the end of 2018 and most will already be aware of their staging dates, if it has not already passed.

Failing to enrol staff into a workplace pension carries with it the prospect of hefty fines that could have a significant impact on you and your company.

Firms need to take penalty notices seriously as the Pensions Regulator has confirmed that they will take civil action through the courts to recover penalties and will prosecute employers who deliberately and wilfully fail to comply with their duties.

If you are concerned about auto-enrolment or have been issued a penalty notice then it is important you consult an accountant sooner rather than later to ensure you do not incur any serious fines.

For more information please contact Lorraine Wilkinson or your usual contact at the office.


Lorraine Wilkinson

Author: Lorraine Wilkinson

​Lorraine joined Scott & Wilkinson in 2001 bringing with her over 20 years payroll experience. As payroll manager, she oversees the smooth running of the firms payroll bureau which includes all aspects of day to day payroll. Lorraine is...

Read More

Share this article:


0 Comment


Nobody has commented yet. Why not add one?

Add your Comment

We have the ability to edit and/or delete posts and comments. Links should be relevant to the topics. Please note all comments are subject to review before inclusion.


Register to comment


Memberships & Accreditations

When appointing a firm of accountants it is important to check that they are appropriately registered and regulated.

Our clients can be assured that Scott & Wilkinson are registered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales to carry out audit work in the United Kingdom and regulated for a range of investment business activities.

We are also registered with the Chartered Institute of Taxation as a firm of Chartered Tax advisors. 

Any use of the term "partner", if used, indicates a member of Scott & Wilkinson LLP or an employee of Scott & Wilkinson LLP with equivalent standing and does not indicate that a partnership exists for the purposes of the Partnership Act 1980