A full range of enforcement options is available to The Pension Regulator (TPR) to penalise non-compliant employers.
TPR can issue guidance and instruction by telephone, email, letter and in person. Or TPR can send a warning letter confirming a set time frame for compliance with the duties.
Statutory notices can direct you to comply with your duties and / or pay any contributions you have missed or are late in paying. TPR have further discretionary powers which allow them to estimate and charge interest on unpaid contributions and direct you to calculate and / or pay unpaid contributions.
TPR can issue penalty notices to punish persistent and deliberate non-compliance.
A fixed penalty notice will be issued if you don’t comply with statutory notices, or if there’s sufficient evidence of a breach of the law. This is fixed at £400 and payable within a specific period.
TPR can also issue an escalating penalty notice for failure to comply with a statutory notice. This penalty has a prescribed daily rate of £50 to £10,000 depending on the number of staff you have.
TPR can issue a civil penalty for cases where you fail to pay contributions due. This is a financial penalty of up to £5,000 for individuals and up to £50,000 for organisations.
Where employers fail to comply with a compliance notice or there is evidence of a breach, TPR can issue a prohibited recruitment conduct penalty notice. This is currently set at a maximum fixed daily rate of £5,000 for organisations with over 250 staff.
TPR aims to fully recover all the penalties that they issue.
TPR can take civil action through the court to recover penalties.
Employers who deliberately and wilfully fail to comply with their duties may be prosecuted.
TPR can also confiscate goods where there is a criminal conviction and restrain assets during criminal investigations.
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