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Pensions regulator continues crackdown on auto-enrolment breaches

Old-Bailey-Justice-Fine-Ban-700x450.jpgAn accountant has been charged with giving false information to The Pensions Regulator, in the latest enforcement action by the watchdog revealed today.

TPR says the accountant is being prosecuted for deliberately providing it with false information that the employer he was working for had put staff at a London cafe into a company pension.

Hashmukh Shah has been charged with knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to the watchdog.

He is accused of falsely claiming that staff at London-based Gran Caffe Londra, run by firm Primadell, was enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, when he knew this was not true.

TPR alleges he this to avoid an inspection taking place that would have uncovered the employer’s failure to automatically enrol its staff in the workplace scheme.

Deliberately providing false information to TPR about compliance with auto-enrolment duties is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.

It is the first time TPR has charged a third-party, working on behalf of an employer, for this offence.

Shah is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on 15 August.

This is the latest enforcement action the regulator has taken against individuals or firms that fail to meet their obligations under the law.

On 30 July Samuel Smith Brewery and its chair were ordered to pay out more than £28,000 over pension scheme information it failed to hand over to TPR.

In June TPR suspended a scheme trustee after detectives from an elite crime unit launched a fraud investigation over allegations about his role in a scam.

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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I just wonder what happens if a firm pays pension contributions annually into a personal pension (with decent fund choices) for their employees and the total is in XS of AE requirements. Even if the percentages that the employee pays is less than that laid down, but the total is more than AE rules.

    • There’s a minimum employER contribution % but no minimum employEE %. So, what that means is that the employer can ‘subsidise’ the employee contribution, but not the other way around.

      For example, if the min requirement is 8% in total with a min employer obligation of 3%, then the employee must contribute 5%.

      However, in the same 8% total contribution scenario, the employer could pay 6% and the employee only 2%. That would be acceptable.

      What would not be acceptable would be 2% employer + 6% employee, because the min employer contribution threshold (3%) would have been breached.

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