The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) temporary flexibilities led to a 55 percent fall in use of powers between April and June this year, its quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin shows.
The bulletin revealed that despite the challenges of the pandemic, TPR has not seen a significant spike in missed pension contributions to date, and the vast majority of employers are meeting their automatic enrolment duties.
Over the course of the pandemic, TPR started taking a pragmatic approach to enforcement in light of cash flow issues for employers and to reduce the burden on administrators.
Despite this, the watchdog is reminding employers that COVID-19 has not changed their automatic enrolment responsibilities towards their staff. The regulator explained that it has continued to target employers who have committed serious breaches and where staff contributions have been at immediate risk.
Now that lockdown is being lifted, TPR has said it is returning to normal levels of enforcement activity.
Mel Charles, director of automatic enrolment at TPR, said: “Protecting savers remains at the heart of what we do, and we are reminding employers of their legal duties so that staff receive the pensions they are due.
“While our flexibilities have supported employers through unprecedented times, we have kept a close eye on compliance. Early indications are that the vast majority of employers have successfully met their duties, however we will take appropriate actions where employers fail to act.”