The Pension Regulator has announced a new crackdown on employers who are flouting their auto enrolment pension duties.
Those suspected of breaking the law will be targeted with short notice inspections. TPR says it is using data to pinpoint specific employers who are failing to enrol staff into a pension scheme, or who make no, or incorrect pension contributions.
These inspections will start immediately and continue across the UK over the next few months.
Previous rounds of spot checks targeted employers by region, from at-risk business sectors and from random test samples – as well as employers where there was evidence of non-compliance.
The regulator pointed out that is now mandatory for employers to take part in the inspections. Failing to provide information, or obstructing an inspector are criminal offences and could result in fines or court action.
TPR’s director of automatic enrolment, Darren Ryder, says: “TPR is increasingly led by our data and intelligence streams which enable us to detect potential non-compliance and take swift action against individual employers.
“This allows us to target our resources in a very focused way as part of our role to protect pension savers.”
Ryder adds that the regulator knows the “vast majority” of employers are fulfilling their AE requirements. But he adds: “There are a small minority who persistently ignore their responsibilities. They can expect a knock at the door from us and enforcement action.”
TPR says it will also be contacting other employers suspected of non-compliance by phone, to validate the information held and ensure they are complying fully.