Nearly 800,000 UK businesses haven’t complied with automatic enrolment

New statistics from the Pensions Regulator reveal that 598,126 of a total 1.3m to 1.4m employers have declared compliance up to the end of May 2017

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Around 800,000 UK small businesses are yet to be auto-enrolment compliant, according to new figures released by the Pensions Regulator this week.

The Declaration of compliance report has revealed that although 598,126 employers have declared compliance up to the end of May 2017, which represents 7,997,000 employees, between 1.3 and 1.4m small and micro-sized enterprises still have obligations to meet – which means around 800,000 have yet to comply.

Businesses who were found to be non-compliant issued with either a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or Escalating Penalty Notice (EPN) – have been named and shamed here. 19 businesses were found to be non-compliant but have since paid their EPN – with the fines ranging between £500 and £14,000.

13 businesses who are still yet to pay EPNs, which range between £500 and £52,500, are now subject to a court order. Offending businesses were varied with regards to sector, and included a hotel, a pharmacy, a carpentry business and football club.

The Pensions Regulator has warned that new businesses which start trading from October 2017 and employ staff will have instant pension responsibilities.

With the current schedule for business owners to auto-enrol their employers coming to an end, all small businesses that existed prior to April 2012 have now passed their staging date.

Charles Counsell, executive director of Automatic Enrolment, said:

“More than seven million employees are now saving into a workplace pension and automatic enrolment is now simply part of running a business. From October, as soon as you take on staff you will have duties towards them. Anyone setting up a business and taking on staff will need to work automatic enrolment into their plans.

“Employers who wilfully refuse to become compliant should be in no doubt that we will take enforcement action against them, as these lists show.

“Automatic enrolment is not an option, it is the law. Allowing some employers to get away with non-compliance is not fair on the employees who are denied the workplace pensions they are entitled to and is not fair on the vast majority of businesses who have taken the time to meet their responsibilities.

“To date we have only had to bring court proceedings against a tiny proportion of employers, but every court case is one too many – and one that employers can easily avoid by becoming compliant.”

For everything you need to know about the auto-enrolment process, visit our dedicated Pensions Zone.

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