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.”