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Pensions regulator hits over 150 firms with auto-enrol sanctions

A total of 398 whistleblowing reports were lodged during the year, more than half of which were related to contributions


More than 150 employers were issued with county court judgements for failing to pay auto-enrolment fines in 2016/17, data from The Pensions Regulator shows.

TPR has published a report including auto-enrolment statistics for the year to March showing it used its powers 50,068 times, compared with 8,812 the previous year.

The report says 153 employers were issued with a CCJ over the last year, which result from an employer ignoring penalty notices from TPR. If a penalty is not paid within 30 days of getting the judgment it stays on the employer’s credit record for six years.

There were also 398 whistleblowing reports lodged during the year, more than half of which were related to contributions.

The total amount saved by eligible employees was £87.1bn in 2016, which was an increase of £3.8bn on the total amount saved in 2015.

By the end of March, around seven million employees were auto-enrolled by around 500,000 employers.

TPR auto-enrolment director Darren Ryder says: “The job of implementing auto-enrolment is not complete and we are not complacent. We will be continuing to help steer hundreds of thousands of employers through their workplace pension duties.”

But Hargreaves Lansdown senior pension analyst Nathan Long predicts “choppy waters” are ahead for TPR as 600,000 “micro-employers” are yet to comply and increases to contributions are being introduced next year.

Long says: “TPR has shown it is no push over, with a consistent approach to bringing non-compliant firms back in line helping to keep auto-enrolment on course.

“There is rightly increasing pressure to include the self-employed in saving for retirement, but this will bring further challenges for an already busy regulator.”



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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Robert Milligan 1st August 2017 at 2:07 pm

    This scandal will surpass the PPI complaints, it should be Stopped NOW! Ask any employee Who the Provider is, What Funds are in It and what are the charges, Let alone performance of any funds this Auto enrolment is scurrilous entrapment of individuals money, I am all for Retirement planning and saving, But Alto Enrolment is NOT the Answer unless of cause your advert has a very long stringed instrument involved!!

    • Robert

      I have been saying the same thing ever since this benighted scheme was introduced. Indeed I made more by explaining to employees and firms how to avoid this nonsense and never once incepted an AE scheme.

      I did however help with plenty of personal pensions. Not Group schemes as I disliked these just as much. I dealt with smaller firms so each employee had their own bespoke PP – they were the clients – not the firm so no conflict and instead of one client (the firm) I had several (all the employees) who very much appreciated being treated as individuals. For smaller cases I used stakeholder – in spite of the providers trying to put me off and steer me to their alternatives.

      AE does not recognise single premiums and small firms don’t want to burden their cash flow until they know what the profits look like. Salary sacrifice and trade off against NI are all supplementary tools that are of no use with AE. And of course there is none of the burdensome and ridiculous bureaucracy with a PP. Firms are not a branch of HMRC or the Social Services – if this has escaped general notice. They need to stick to their knitting. There are constant bleatings about the lamentable UK productivity. Well how about bureaucracy staying out of the way and letting firms get on with the day job?

  2. Every employer has to complete the auto enrolment questionnaire even if you only employ yourself. However, owner businesses do not technically employ anyone and if you also pay yourself less than £10K you are also exempt. It is a nuisance and more red tape but if a firm employs people then they must set up a pension scheme that complies. It doesn’t need to be with NEST but is another overhead especially for very small firms with perhaps 1 or 2 employees.

  3. […] Employers are starting to pay the price for not complying with auto enrolment regulations with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) issuing county court judgements to employers who are ignoring penalty notices. […]

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