IGA News

Workplace Pensions Autumn Update

Workplace Pensions Autumn Update

30 October 2017

The law on workplace pensions has changed: now every employer in the UK must put their staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it under the Pensions Act 2008. This is known as ‘automatic enrolment’, which is your legal duty as an employer.

No matter what stage of enrolment you are at, remember that you can run a quick check at any time to ensure you’re taking the required steps by the right dates:

Click Here to start your Duties Checker

Before you begin, you will need:

  • Your PAYE reference (found on your payroll software, or letters from HMRC or The Pensions Regulator)
  • 10 digit letter code (can be found here, or from letters from The Pensions Regulator)
  • Age and approximate earnings of anyone you employ

If you need further information or advice on automatic pension enrolment, visit www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk, or call the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230.

Pension Auto Enrolment News

First employer prosecuted for wilful non-compliance

This month The Pensions Regulator launched their first prosecution of a company and its director for deliberately avoiding their automatic enrolment duties. Stott Tours, based in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and its managing director, Alan Stott, are accused of deliberately not putting 36 of their staff into a workplace pension. They have been summonsed to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 4 October 2017.

Over 400,000 employers have now complied with their legal duties, but The Pensions Regulator will use their powers where they are failing to give their staff the pensions they’re due.

Rogue pension websites carrying anti-scam messaging

Rogue pension websites are carrying anti-scam messages to try to trick consumers into believing that they are legitimate businesses. A number of suspected scam websites have been referred to The Pensions Regulator over the suspicion that they are being dressed up as legitimate investment vehicles – including carrying TPR anti-scam material without The Pension Regulator’s consent.

Some even imply they are regulated by carrying warning messages designed to prevent people falling victim to scams. These include references to the tax implications over accessing their pension before the age of 55, and the dangers of cold callers. Professional-looking websites or marketing materials are not a guarantee of a company’s authenticity.

This page contains useful information that you can share with your employees, including tips on how to protect your pension pot and a checklist to see if a pension website is likely to be a front for scammers.

Trustees banned after millions of pounds scammed from pension schemes

Three people have been banned from acting as trustees of pension schemes over suspicions that millions of pounds were scammed from investors using schemes of which they were trustees. Timothy Walker, Desmond Cheyne and Lindsay Macalister have all been banned from ever again acting as a trustee because of their links to the Milton and Carrick Harbour occupational pension schemes.

Members of other pension schemes were encouraged to transfer their pensions into the Milton and Carrick Harbour schemes. The Pensions Regulator believe the trustees then invested funds held by the pension schemes in high-risk, unregulated investments in the UK and overseas without the members’ knowledge. Read the Determination Notice, which summarises the findings of their Determinations Panel.

Remember, automatic enrolment is your legal duty and if you don’t comply you could be fined. Head to www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk to ensure you’ve completed the necessary steps and are remaining compliant.