The Pensions Regulator (TPR)

TPR will be responsible for ensuring that employers comply with their employer duties.

How will TPR help to ensure that employers comply with the duties?

TPR's approach will include:

  • telling employers when their staging date is
  • providing employers with guidance and information about their employer duties
  • fining employers who fail to comply with their duties, depending on the severity of the breach.

Imposing penalties

TPR will impose penalties on employers who fail to comply with their employer duties, as shown below.

Compliance/unpaid contributions notice

  • Employers are given a specific timescale to put things right.
  • They may also need to make backdated contributions with interest added.

Fixed penalty notice - £400

  • Employers need to correct the breach identified.
  • They'll be given at least four weeks from the date of the fixed penalty notice to put things right.

Escalating penalty notice

  • Employers could face daily escalating penalties in addition to any fixed penalty if they fail to comply.
Number of people1 Daily rate
1-4 £50
5-49 £500
50-249 £2,500
250-499 £5,000
500 or more £10,000

1 The daily rate is generally determined by the number of people in the employer's PAYE scheme or the number of people affected by unpaid contributions.

Other penalties

1: Wilful failure to comply

Employers who wilfully fail to comply with their employer duties face fines and/or up to two years' imprisonment.

2: Inducement

Employers who induce workers not to join or to opt-out of a pension scheme may have fixed and/or escalating penalties imposed.

3: Prohibited recruitment conduct

Employers are not allowed to make any statement or ask any question during the recruitment process, which indicates (either explicitly or implicitly) that the worker may not join or may opt-out of a pension scheme. Separate penalties apply to employers using prohibited recruitment conduct. These are shown in the table below.

Number of people2Fixed penalty
1-4 £1,000
5-49 £1,500
50-249 £2,500
250 or more £5,000

2 This is generally the number of people affected by any breach identified.

Appealing against a penalty

Employers have the right to appeal against any penalties imposed by TPR. They can do this by writing to TPR.

Last updated: 04 Jul 2017

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The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. The firm is on the Financial Services Register, registration number 117672. It provides life assurance and pensions. Registered in England and Wales number 99064. Registered office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL.