Workplace pensions

  • Do you need help to check if your current workplace pension scheme meets the requirements for Auto-Enrolment?
  • Do you need to set up a scheme from scratch?
  • Would you like help and support to make sure everything is set up correctly?

The dedicated Business team at Orchard House can work with you: to understand your needs in this area, explain the options and help you comply with all the legal requirements

What is Auto Enrolment?

  • A new law – EVERY employer MUST automatically enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme
  • Eligible workers are
    • employees who are between the ages of 22 and State Pension Age
    • employees who earn more than a set baseline salary
  • Auto Enrolment started 1st October 2012, beginning with larger employers and gradually progressing through to the smallest employers.  Currently even the one man band will be included, as will companies who, mainly or only, take on self-employed workers

What happens if you don’t comply?  

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has employed an incentivised organisation to catch and prosecute non complying Companies.  Their remuneration package is based on the number of fines generated, e.g. the more people they catch, the greater their income.  The regulator can also recover unpaid contributions.   

The TPR has a number of interventions available, which are set out below. The regulator will use all powers available to it to ensure it meets its statutory objectives.

  • Informal action – Warning letter
  • Statutory powers – Formal requests for information
  • Statutory notices – The regulator issues a range of statutory notices to employers

Penalties will be applied in the following order:  

  • Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) 
  • Escalating Penalty Notice (EPN)
  • Prohibited Recruitment Conduct Penalty Notice (PRCPN) 
  • Civil Penalty – The financial penalty is between £0-£5,000 in the case of an individual and £0-£50,000 in any other case   Court action  
  • Civil action – The regulator will seek to recover full payment and may take civil court action
  • Criminal prosecution – The regulator can prosecute in the case of wilful non-compliance
  • The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) – permits the regulator can restrain assets and seek confiscation

Penalties can be avoided with efficient planning to ensure that schemes comply with the new rules and that administrators are confident with processes.

At Orchard House we recommend that you start planning for Auto-Enrolment 18 months before your staging date.  We are here to help you, so please feel free to contact us. We are proud of our reputation for providing sound, practical and impartial advice with no pressure and no obligation.


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