There are around 8,000 small and micro employers due to stage between June and November who have not drawn up plans to meet their auto-enrolment duties.
31 JULY 2015 | BY CINTIA CHEONG
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said this figure represented 20% of the 40,000 employers due to stage during this period. These types of employers include recruitment businesses, construction firms, bars and restaurants, caterers and shop owners.
According to its quarterly report Compliance and enforcement, the number of times TPR used its powers to ensure employer compliance reached 1,751 since auto-enrolment came into force. Of those, 1,295 employers received compliance notices, which instructed them how to remedy a breach of their duties.
The number of employers fined for failing to meet their auto-enrolment duties reached 332 by the end of June, costing each of them a fixed penalty fee of £400.
A total of 71 received "unpaid contributions notices" for late or non-payment due to a pension scheme. Four employers who failed to comply with their duties after the £400 fine was imposed faced further fines of up to £10,000 per day.
In the last quarter, between April and June, 119 employers received compliance notices, 50 received unpaid contributions notices and 68 employers were hit with £400 fixed penalty notices.
Executive director of automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said: "The number of times we have used our powers remains low compared to the tens of thousands of employers who have successfully met their duties. However, as 1.8 million employers see their automatic enrolment duties switched on in the coming years we do expect to see a rise in the number of times we will need to use our powers.
"My message to small and micro employers is to ensure you leave enough time and be clear about what you will need to do to comply."
Nathan Long, head of corporate pension research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the number of employers with unpaid contributions notices in the last quarter represented 70% of all instances since automatic enrolment started in 2012.
Long said: "The big increase in unpaid contributions by employers is sure to be a result of smaller employers getting to grips with offering a workplace pension for the first time. The complexity with workplace pensions and new legislation was always going to incur teething problems."