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The Pensions Regulator is increasing the amount of auto-enrolment spot checks it carries out, looking across Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Over the last 12 months it has concentrated its efforts in the larger cities of London, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Birmingham but is now extending it’s checks further afield.

This latest round of spot checks will target those employers who are still non-compliant, despite already receiving a penalty for earlier offences, along with those employers suspected of providing misleading or false information to the Pensions Regulator.

Those not fulfilling their legal obligations can face large penalties and well as legal action.

Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer who has employees that meet certain criteria must put them into a pension scheme and make contributions on their behalf.  This is known as Auto-enrolment pensions and you may remember the adverts on TV featuring a blue, furry monster.

You can find more details here at the Pensions Regulator’s website, but as a general overview, employers must monitor the ages and earning of their employers and enter them into the business pension scheme accordingly.

Generally speaking, if you have any staff who are aged between 22 and state pension age, AND earn over £10,000 per year then they should be auto-enroled and both parties need to make pension contributions.  They can opt out of the scheme, but this is not the default position and again there are procedures to follow.

We advise to make sure you are on top of your pension commitments, and understand what is required from you to stay compliant and on the right side of the law.