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TPR hikes budget by 80% to meet auto-enrol burden

The Pensions Regulator is planning to dramatically increase its budget by 80 per cent as it prepares for millions of small firms to hit their auto-enrolment staging dates.

Its 2015/18 corporate plan reveals it expects its 2015/16 budget to be £76m, rising to £106m in 2016/17 and £137m in 2017/18.

This year’s budget was forecast to be £63m, but has been revised up tp £76m.

It says the 80 per cent increase is “primarily driven by significant planned increases in the cost of the automatic enrolment roll-out” to SMEs.

Around 1.3 million employers have yet to enrol their staff in workplace pensions.

Funding for the regulator comes from a grant from the Department for Work and Pensions and a grant from general taxation specifically to meet the costs of regulating auto-enrolment.

TPR is also planning to increase staff numbers. It plans to employ an average of 499 permanent and fixed term roles over 2015/16, up from 452 people over 2014/15.

In addition, the regulator says its focus will be on tackling pension scams, monitoring defined benefit to defined contribution transfers, transparency in scheme charges and updating codes of conduct.

A TPR spokesman says: ”Growth over this three-year period is primarily driven by increases in the cost of the automatic enrolment roll-out to medium, small and micro employers. We continue to revisit and update the three-year spend profile each year to reflect the latest plans.”

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