Businesses that flout their workplace pension duties face being subjected to random spot-checks by the Pensions Regulator.
Employers that provide details to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) are having that data cross-referenced by the watchdog in an attempt to identify non-compliance with auto-enrolment.
The checks are designed to identify businesses that are failing to enrol eligible staff into a workplace pension scheme or that make incorrect, or no, contributions.
All businesses with staff aged between 22 and state pension age, and earning more than £10,000 year, have to be auto-enrolled into a workplace pension.
Those who fail to comply may be the subject of short-notice inspections, which began in May and will continue throughout the summer.
Witholding information when asked, or obstructing an inspector, are criminal offences and may result in legal action or fines.
In 2018/19 the Regulator issued fines worth a total of £68,626,923 to employers that failed to meet their pension obligations – up from £192,900 in 2014/15.
Employers that fail to comply with statutory notices for auto-enrolment initially receive a £400 fixed penalty notice.
Should they ignore that warning, an escalating penalty notice can fine employers between £50 and £10,000 a day.
Contact a member of our Payroll Team if you would like to discuss your auto-enrolment responsibilities.