Football club fined £22,900 for pensions auto-enrolment failures

Football pitch

The Pensions Regulator has fined Swindon Town Football Company Limited £22,900 for failing to enrol eligible workers in a pension scheme and comply with other workplace pension duties.

The football club was issued with a compliance notice on 18 August 2014, instructing it to automatically enrol staff and pay contributions by 17 October 2014. After the club failed to meet this deadline and further delayed complying with its duties, the Pensions Regulator took enforcement action.

Charles Counsell, executive director of automatic enrolment, said: “This case illustrates what can happen when an employer buries their head in the sand and disregards their duties. If things aren’t going well, then talk to us; don’t ignore us. Failing to comply on time will not save you money. Not only do you risk a fine, you will also have to make backdated contributions.”

Has your business met its auto-enrolment obligations?

The Pensions Regulator has segmented UK employers into numerous bands according to their size, with each band being assigned a particular monthly staging date from which they were obliged to start the enrolment processes.

Small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) should be aware that the staging date for them to automatically enrol eligible ‘jobholders’ in a pension scheme commenced on 1 June 2015, and they have until 1 April 2017 to complete the process.

‘Jobholders’ include permanent, fixed-term and temporary employees, as well as agency workers. A business can use an occupational or personal pension scheme if it meets statutory quality requirements. Alternatively, businesses can enrol jobholders in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), a central defined contribution scheme set up by the government.

Employers should test their payroll systems well in advance to ensure they are able to meet the auto-enrolment requirements.

For expert advice on pension auto-enrolment issues contact Gaby Hardwicke Employment Law Partner Paul Maynard:

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