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100 TPR staff to police a million firms

The Pensions Regulator plans to have 100 field staff to check one million employers comply with the new pension regulations which take effect in 2012.

Executive director Graham Brammer expects to recruit a total of 500 staff, with 150 for the contact centre and 250 to deal with exceptional processing issues but just 100 in the field.

TPR’s own research suggests 25 per cent of employers will try to dodge their duties. Brammer says TPR will practise with a group of up to 5,000 small employers in July 2012 to help determine if staff levels are realistic.

He says: “We are anxious to learn from their behaviour and get an idea of the levels of non-compliance we can expect.”

Legal & General wealth policy director Adrian Boulding says: “They will need to ramp up the number if there are issues with compliance. It is important there is short, sharp, shock treatment. TPR needs to be tough or word will get round that it is soft.”

Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “If we assume 250,000 employers will fail to comply, that is a ratio of one enforcer to every 2,500 employers. TPR’s only real choice is tackling the big offenders.”

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