Employers struggling to meet their auto-enrolment and other workplace pensions obligations can expect a ‘proportionate’ risk-based approach to enforcement says The Pensions Regulator.
Issuing a Covid-19 guidance update, TPR says auto-enrolment contributions remain payable and re-enrolment and re-declaration duties remain in force. Employers are reminded that they must not encourage or induce employees to opt out of schemes or reduce contributions.
Employers struggling with cashflow and waiting for payments from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are being told to talk to their provider to see if there is flexibility to change the due date for payment of employer contributions. Employers should also consider other government support packages.
TPR says it will also not take regulatory action for failure to consult for 60 days on changes to contributions, normally applicable to employers with at least 50 employees under employment law.
This regulatory easement will be maintained until 30 June 2020.
A TPR spokesperson says: “We will take a proportionate and risk-based approach towards enforcement decisions, in light of these challenging times, with the aim of supporting both employers and savers.
“We are working with HM Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions to feed into the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’s central guidance on the pensions element of the grant. The guidance below addresses areas where some employers have asked for further clarity. We will be adding to our guidance next week, beginning 14 April, so please check back here for further updates.”
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