"This case is a stark warning that failing to address problems early can lead to hefty fines which could be avoided."
The Pensions Regulator is warning employees not to "put their head in the sand" after fining a business £350,000 for failing to fully comply with its pension duties.
The anonymous case study was included in TPR’s latest quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin.
Despite warnings from TPR, the employer, which has 5,000 staff, allowed an Escalating Penalty Notice to grow before correctly re-enrolling staff into the company pension scheme and paying the right contributions.
Following TPR’s intervention, the London-based company has now re-enrolled more than 40 staff and paid more than £100,000 of backdated pension contributions, as well as ensuring ongoing contributions are correctly calculated and paid. The backdated payments, which are in addition to the fine, cover both the re-enrolment failure and incorrect contributions affecting more than 2,000 staff.
TPR's director of automatic enrolment, Darren Ryder, said: “This size of fine is rare as the vast majority of employers now consider automatic enrolment to be an everyday part of running their business and helping workers to save. However, this case is a stark warning that failing to address problems early can lead to hefty fines which could be avoided.
“We do not want to fine businesses, we want them to meet their legal duties and we are here to help them do this.
"This case also demonstrates it’s vital to carry out both ongoing duties and re-enrolment correctly. We will take action to ensure that not only are staff put into a pension, but they continue to receive the correct contributions on an ongoing basis, that those who opt out are re-enrolled correctly, and given their right to start saving.”