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Pensions regulator reports rise in auto-enrolment compliance cases

The Pensions Regulator has seen a rise in auto-enrolment compliance investigations over the second quarter of this year as small and medium-sized firms approach their staging dates.

For the three months to July 2014 TPR looked at 217 cases, according to data published today. This compares to 785 for the year from March 2013, the equivalent of 196 per quarter.

The regulator used its statutory powers five times during the quarter, taking the total number of formal TPR interventions to 23.

It includes three compliance notices to “remedy a contravention of one or more automatic enrolment employer duties”.

TPR also highlights a Supreme Court ruling that a partner under an LLP company structure would qualify as a “worker” under auto-enrolment legislation.

TPR adds it expects to see the number of cases investigated increase as auto-enrolment reaches an increasing number of small firms.

TPR executive director of automatic enrolment Charles Counsell says: “To date the vast majority of employers are complying with their new workplace pension duties without the regulator needing to use our enforcement powers.

“I believe this is a testament to the success of our proportionate, risk based approach to compliance and enforcement. We target our resources where they will maximise compliance and work with employers to help them comply with their duties.

“We have provided the tools and assistance that large and medium employers need to ensure millions of workers didn’t miss out on the pension contributions they are entitled to. On a small number of occasions, when our intervention has not resulted in the required outcome, we have used our powers to help to ensure employers comply with their duties.”

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