You may have already seen this mascot, known as ‘Workie’, on the TV visiting a number of work environments, where he encourages people to make sure they don’t ignore him. In a bid to spread the campaign on social media, the hashtag #DontIgnoreIt was created.
The Pensions Minister, Baroness Altmann, stated that great strides have been made by automatically enrolling more than 5 million people into a workplace pension, and that the challenge now is to ensure that everyone gets to benefit.
The latest report on ‘compliance and enforcement’ from the Pensions Regulator showed that recent employers due to auto-enrol have not been as prompt as their predecessors in meeting their responsibilities.
In the third quarter of 2015, the regulator issued 469 ‘compliance notices’ requiring employers to “remedy a contravention” whereas in the second quarter 119 were issued. 85 Unpaid Contribution Notices were sent out, against 50 in April – June. Further up the infringement scale, there were 107 Fixed Penalty Notices of £400 served “for failure to comply with a statutory notice or some specific employer duties” against 68 in the second quarter.
What will happen in the next 12 months is causing some concern to the regulator and many others. Since October 2012 over 60,000 employers have had to deal with Auto Enrolment. In the next 12 months the regulator says that more than 500,000 employers will go through Auto Enrolment. No wonder the regulator’s latest press release, accompanying those compliance figures, stresses “the importance of all employers knowing how workplace pensions law applies to them and of acting in a timely manner”.
If your business has not yet started preparing for Auto Enrolment, the escalating number of interventions by the regulator is a reminder that procrastination is becoming increasingly dangerous. To discuss your options and avoid unwelcome regulatory attention, talk to us as soon as possible. Do not delay: those half a million employers which have to auto-enrol over the next year could well create an advisory bottleneck. Call us on 01273 882200.
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