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Opra says fines system is working

The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority says its policy of imposing small fines up to £50 is keeping employers up to date with pension contributions.

Opra says it is actively using its authority to issue civil penalties for late payment of employee contributions and late production of audited accounts.

It claims its ability to issue penalties rather than start criminal proceedings means more late payment cases are being dealt with. The past three months have seen more cases being sorted out than during the entire three years when late payments were a criminal offence.

Opra has the authority to warn employers or fine them up to £50. It says this amount is kept low as it only wants to make sure employees comply with regulations and is not out to punish them.

Chairman John Hayes says: “There are encouraging signs that some of the people who have received these fines understand the message and seem inclined to reform.”

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