"The success of auto-enrolment is built on the cooperation of employers; the Pensions Regulator has to police compliance of over a million employers."
The Pensions Regulator has concluded its first criminal prosecution of an employer for failing to comply with the auto-enrolment regulations.
Stotts Tours (Oldham) and its managing director have been fined over £60,000 after trying to deliberately avoid giving their staff workplace pensions.
Stotts Tours and Alan Stott pleaded guilty to a total of 16 offences of wilfully failing to comply with the law on workplace pensions – the first such prosecution by The Pensions Regulator.
The company has been ordered to pay an estimated £10,000 in backdated pension contributions for its staff, as well as paying all ongoing contributions that fall due, or they will face further enforcement action from TPR.
Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said: “Compliance with automatic enrolment remains very high and so it’s extremely disappointing that a tiny minority of employers continue to flout the law by denying their staff the pensions they are entitled to.
“This case shows the cost to employers that failing to comply with automatic enrolment can bring – a bill of tens of thousands of pounds, a criminal conviction and a damaged reputation.”
Tom McPhail, head of policy at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented: "The success of auto-enrolment is built on the cooperation of employers; the Pensions Regulator has to police compliance of over a million employers. They have put in place effective systems and processes, so employers should be aware that if they fail to give their employees the pensions they are entitled to, they are likely to get caught and fined. Undoubtedly there is a minority of businesses who are trying to cheat their employees and save a few quid. As today’s successful prosecution shows, in the long run such an approach is likely to be a false economy.’
"Employers should regard the funding of a decent pension for their employees as a necessary part of business life, no different to salaries or holidays."