Auto enrolment knowledge centre

Auto enrolment rules, fines and penalties

As an employer, you’re obliged to enrol all eligible staff in your workplace pension scheme by your duties start date – the day your first member of staff joined the company.  But your duties don’t end here. On our Auto enrolment in eight steps page you can read about the ongoing duties you need to perform in order to remain compliant. The Pensions Regulator set out the penalties for not meeting your auto-enrolment duties here.

The benefits of a well-run, compliant workplace pension are considerable, to employer and employee alike. You can enhance your reputation as a good employer, attract and retain the right people and ensure that your employees can retire at the time that’s right for them and for you.

But, benefits aside, it’s also crucial that your scheme stays compliant so that you can avoid incurring some potentially hefty penalties and fines imposed by The Pensions Regulator.


What if I’m in danger of breaching my duties?

If you’re breaching, or in danger of breaching your auto enrolment duties, The Pensions Regulator will contact you to ensure that you’re taking steps towards complying.

If you don’t provide the information they need, they may send you a formal request for information, and then a statutory notice if you still don’t send what they’ve asked for.

  • If you repeatedly fail to meet your auto enrolment duties, you will have to pay escalating fines.
  • If you still fail to comply after receiving multiple fines, you could face legal action.
  • Eventually, you could receive a prison sentence of up to two years.

If in doubt, get in touch with The Pensions Regulator

The Pensions Regulator is committed to working with employers who communicate and cooperate with them.

Legal action can be avoided as long as you actively take steps to fulfil your auto enrolment duties and keep The Pensions Regulator informed along the way.

What notices or fines could I receive?

If you fail to provide The Pension Regulator with any information they’ve requested, they may send a formal request for information.

Then, if they review the information you’ve sent and find that you are in breach of your auto enrolment duties, you’ll be issued with a statutory notice that corresponds to the breach. If you fail to provide the requested information, or to comply with a statutory notice, you could be issued with a fixed penalty notice or escalating penalty notice. Persistent non-compliance may lead to prosecution.

You can find out more about each of these notices below. We’ve marked the statutory notices – those which are enforceable by law – with an asterisk*.

A formal request for information

A compliance notice*

A third party compliance notice*

An improvement notice*

An unpaid contributions notice*

Prohibited recruitment conduct*

Fixed Penalty Notices*

Escalating Penalty Notice*

Find out more about auto enrolment

Auto enrolment doesn’t have to be challenging. We’ve got all the information you need to get up and running with your workplace pension scheme.

Aviva Workplace Pension

Our workplace pension is designed to give you a scheme that’s easy to set up and administer, ideal for your auto enrolment needs.

Find out about the Aviva Workplace Pension

Employers

Get a quote and see how Aviva can help you and your business.

Advisers

Find out how we can help you support your clients with auto enrolment.