In a recent update published by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), they confirm that between April and June 2018 27,219 compliance notices were issued against employers for breaching automatic enrolment rules. Let that sink in for a moment…27,219 compliance notices in a 3-month period!
A compliance notice is issued by TPR to set out the steps an employer must take (or refrain from taking) in order to remedy a breach in automatic enrolment processes, but also to prevent the breach from being repeated. A compliance notice is normally issued following an inspection where the TPR visit an employer’s premises to in effect audit their automatic enrolment processes. If following an inspection a compliance notice is not adhered to then TPR do have the ability to issue monetary penalties to employers too.
This all sounds pretty serious and when you dig deeper into the financial penalties and possible reputational damage that non-compliance around automatic enrolment can cause to an employer, then it is it very, very serious indeed.
Typically, during an inspection, TPR ask to see evidence of four things:
*They will need to see a breakdown of your workers and the categories they fall into for Automatic Enrolment. In effect, TPR want to see your payroll software.
*They may need to take away copies of payroll printouts/records. This could be your payroll going all the way back to your staging date. They will need to see names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers, gross earnings and pensions deduction from pay in relation to your workers.
*They will need to see details of the Pension scheme(s) that you are using for Automatic Enrolment purposes including the scheme name and any specific reference numbers that the provider has given to you.
*They may need to determine what letters/e-mails were sent to your workers about Automatic Enrolment and how many of your workers OPTED IN or OPTED out.
An audit tends to take a couple of hours to complete and TPR have the authority to talk to ANY person on the premises in conducting their inspection. Like any type of audit, a TPR inspection would generally be a bit of a nuisance as it would disrupt your working week. However, if you have everything in order and are happy to provide the information required then why be worried?
*As an employer, are you comfortable in being able to provide TPR the evidence listed above?
*As an employer, are you comfortable that you would pass a TPR audit is you received an inspection notice through the post today?
*As an employer, do you know where to go to get help and advice from qualified professionals to make sure that all your ducks are in a row, should the inspectors come calling?
If you would like a free independent initial assessment of your Automatic Enrolment compliance position, please contact us on 01883 332260.