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Regulator prepares for crackdown on ‘unacceptable’ auto-enrolment non-compliance

New Pensions Regulator chairman Mark Boyle says the regulator will not hesitate to use its powers if employers fail to comply with their auto-enrolment duties.

Speaking at the NAPF conference in Liverpool today, Boyle said TPR expects non-compliance will become more common as the number of employers hitting their staging dates increases dramatically over the next couple of years. Over a million SMEs will have to auto-enrol staff between now and 2018.

He said: “We expect that as the number of employers subject to the duties goes up we will see more non-compliance. As we deal with smaller employers, we will see more who, despite our message to prepare early, leave it too late or do not comply at all.

“This type of non-compliance is not acceptable, and we will use our powers, including compliance notices, fixed penalties and escalating penalties where appropriate.”

Boyle also revealed the regulator is planning to consult on changes to its guidance on how schemes should handle transfers from DB to DC schemes.

There is expected to be an increase in demand for transfers following the Budget reforms, which have boosted the appeal of DC pensions. The Government has introduced a requirement for all members wishing to leave private sector DB schemes to first speak to a regulated financial adviser.

Boyle also revealed the regulator is close to appointing a permanent chief executive, more than 18 months after Bill Galvin left to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

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