14 Nov 2017

Court ‘warning’ to firms failing to meet pension obligations

Court ‘warning’ to firms failing to meet pension obligations

The Pensions Regulator has prosecuted a bus company and its managing director for deliberately failing to provide employees with a workplace pension scheme.

The conviction is the first the regulator has successfully secured under section 3.2, 45 and 46 of the Pension Act 2008, with the firm’s failure to adhere to the regulations affecting all 36 staff.

The company involved, Oldham-based Stotts Tours and its managing director Alan Stott, were found guilty of a combined 16 offences of wilfully failing to comply with auto-enrolment legislation since its staging date passed in June 2015.

Punishment

Both the firm and Mr Stott pleaded guilty to the offences, with the court able to impose an unlimited fine. The regulator added that it was also seeking £14,400 in civil fines for non-compliance from the company in a separate case. 

This is the first time the regulator has secured a criminal conviction over non-compliance with the auto-enrolment regime. 

Commenting on the case, Peter Mutch, Corporate Benefits Director at Aberdein Considine, said: “This is an extremely serious case, and is a shot across the bows of any firm which is not taking the appropriate measures to adhere to the legislation. 

“Not only has the firm’s failure damaged it financially and reputationally, staff are not being given the rights they are entitled to under the law. And that, as we’ve seen, is literally criminal. 

“Every firm, large or small, needs to ensure they are doing all the rights things - and if they’re not sure what to do, they need to seek advice sooner rather than later.”

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Auto-enrolment affects all employers in the UK.

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