Are They Prosecuting Business Owners Who Dodge the Peoples Pension? Yes

This news is from the Pensions Regulator office; a government agency overseeing the Peoples Pension scheme. It’s been a long, somewhat patchy, roll-out, with lower paid and part-timers initially exempt from the scheme, but those business owners who think they can duck out of making staff deductions and fronting up their employer contributions, are in for a shock if caught. Here’s the latest;

A pre-school nursery and its main director have been ordered to pay £8,200 for failing to comply with their pension duties and for misleading TPR by falsely claiming staff had been put into a pension.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 20 November 2019, Merseyside-based Sulouste Ltd, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, was sentenced for wilfully failing to enrol staff into a pension scheme and the director, Christine Moore, for providing TPR with false and misleading information.

The defendants pleaded guilty to the two charges at the same court on 13 November 2019. In a false declaration of compliance, Mrs Moore told TPR that her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff.

However, after an alert from a whistleblower and an investigation by TPR, it emerged that while a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been automatically enrolled.

Sentencing the company and Mrs Moore, District Judge Teresa Szagun said “The mistake of failing to comply has a detrimental impact not only on the individual employee but also on society as a whole.”

Darren Ryder, Director of Automatic Enrolment at TPR, said: “This outcome is another clear warning to employers that they must comply with their automatic enrolment duties and ensure staff receive the pension they are entitled to.

“While the vast majority of employers do the right thing, we will take action against the small number that flout the law and risk the retirements of savers.”

Sulouste Ltd, which is based in Waterloo, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to wilfully failing to comply with its automatic enrolment duties under section 45 of the Pensions Act 2008. Mrs Moore, 60, of Merseyside, who is the main director of Sulouste Ltd, pleaded guilty to recklessly providing TPR with false and misleading information. 

Judge Szagun fined Mrs Moore £833 and an additional £83 victim’s surcharge was added. Sulouste Ltd was fined £4,915 and was ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge of £170 together with prosecution costs of £2,200.

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