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The New Workplace Pension - Are you Compliant?

What is Auto Enrolment?

Automatic enrolment is a Government initiative to help more people save for later life through a workplace pension scheme.

Previously, many workers from all sizes and types of employer and across many different industries have missed out on valuable pension benefirs either because their employer didn't offer a pension, or they didn't apply to join their company's pension scheme. Automatic enrolment legislation means that from here on in, this won't happen as it is now compulsory for employers to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a pension scheme, into which the company also contributes.

So, if you're eligible and haven't yet enrolled in to your workplace scheme, check with your employer to see when you will be enrolled - you should be enrolled by 1 February 2018, at the latest.

Why is Auto Enrolment happening?

Most people are not saving enough for retirement and do not feel that they can afford to live comfortably on their State Pension alone. As people are now also living longer, there is and will continue to be increasing strain on the country's state benefits system. Therefore, private pension provision is increasingly important.

Does Auto Enrolment apply to me?

A significant number of small and micro employers (1-5) employees still remain unaware of their Auto Enrolment responsibilities despite everything that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) are doing to make them aware of their obligations in good time.

If you're unsure to what extent automatic enrolment legislation applies to you and your business, it is worth visiting the Pension Regulator website and using their duties checker  ( It is also worth noting that this legislation affects sole traders, partnerships, LLPs and Limited Companies as well as individuals who employ somebody in their home.

What if I don't do anything?

As this is now a legal requirement, it is a criminal offence to ignore your employer duties. If any employer fails to comply with Auto Enrolment legislation, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) will take action.

In certain circumstances, where the employer genuinely did not understand their duties or due to unforeseen circumstances have not been able to comply, the regulator will work with the employer to develop understanding and ensure compliance. However, those employers who do not carry out their legal Auto Enrolment obligations and wilfully ignore the employer duties will face enforcement action and penalties. This starts with statutory notices being issues to the employer and is followed by penalty notices. Further non-compliance may lead to court action against the employer.

Enforcement and fines

The most common enforcement action is a fixed penalty notice of £400, which is issued if an employer fails to comply with instructions as per their statutory notice or deliberately breaks the law.

If a statutory notice is ignored, the regulator can issue daily fines of between £50 and £10,000 depending on the number of employees an employer has. A civil penalty notice is issued if pension contribution payments are withheld. Penalties range from up to £5,000 for individuals and up to £50,000 organisations.

Prohibited recruitment conduct penalty notices can be issued when an employer ignores a compliance notice or if there is evidence of a breach. Depdending on the number of employees, penalties range from £1,000 to £5,000.

What can I do to make sure I'm Compliant?

We urge all businesses, small or large to leave enough time ahead of their staging date to properly prepare for their auto-enrolment obligations. Unfortunately, many employers are not starting to act until too late.

If you are looking for an effective, compliant solution for your Automatic Enrolment Duties, we can help. Should you wish to know more, please contact The Catering Accounting Company on 0121 706 8585 or email us at

The Catering Accounting Company is a trading name of James, Stanley & Co Limited. Registered Office: 1733 Coventry Road, South Yardley, Birmingham, West Midlands, B26 1DT.Registered in England and Wales, Company No. 07453182 Vat No. 156 9999 31. James, Stanley & Co Limited is registered to carry out audit work in the UK by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Audit registration information can be found at James, Stanley & Co Limited’s reference no. is C003378603.


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