Businesses warned of Auto Enrolment exemption scam
Some employers have reportedly been caught out after spending £58 on ‘Certificates of Auto Enrolment Exemption’ that are actually a scam.
The appeal of the certificates is that, for a relatively small fee, the employer is told they will be exempt from any and all Auto Enrolment duties. However, such an exemption does not exist for (almost) all employers. Therefore as well as failing to pass with The Pensions Regulator, any firms that have relied on this and subsequently missed their relevant deadlines will still be subject to the normal penalties for failing in their Auto Enrolment duties.
As a result of these cases, The Pensions Regulator is now investigating at least one company actively offering the certificates. It has further sent warnings to Auto Enrolment advisers to look out for any scams like this being offered.
How can you tell which exemptions are scams?
The answer is that, unless you are either a sole-Director company with no other employees (or not an employer at all), they all are.
Even companies that have a payroll for the sole Director need to make sure The Pensions Regulator has been informed that they are not an employer for the purposes of Auto Enrolment. All other employers must go through the same procedures, including but not limited to; assessing their staff, making sure they are fully informed, ensuring that a qualifying pension scheme is set-up at their company staging date (if required), completing a full Declaration of Compliance etc.
If you are unsure about your Auto Enrolment responsibilities then we strongly suggest you speak to a qualified pensions adviser. This is not a service that we can offer, however we would be happy to put you in touch with the advisers that we have partnered with. All employers should also check The Pensions Regulator’s website at http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk .