April 25, 2016

Swindon Town Football club fined £2,500 per day for pensions failings

Swindon Town Football club fined £2,500 per day for pensions failings


Swindon Town, the League One Football Club have been fined almost £23,000 by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for regularly and ‘repeatedly’ failing to comply with it’s Auto-Enrolment pensions duties and obligations.


Key areas of failure outlined by TPR cover enrolling staff at their staging date, paying contributions, communicating to staff how auto-enrolment would affect them and completing changes to contracts of employment.


According to TPR report published on 21st April, Swindon Town had failed to act by the deadline of 17th October which had been issued as a notice in mid August. The report claimed that as Swindon Town failed to provide a complete declaration by the deadline, they were fined £400 which went unpaid.


On 20th January 2015, an escalating penalty notice was issued detailing that the fine would be £2,500 per day, unless they complied within 28 days. Swindon Town contacted TPR however were not able to evidence to the satisfaction of the investigators that they were compliant so started to accrue fines of £2,500 per day from the 18th February.


This fine was stopped on the 26th of February when it received a compliant declaration of compliance providing details and assurances that all contributions owed would be paid within two weeks. On 23rd March, Swindon Town’s pension provider wrote to TPR to detail that no contributions had been made.


With communications stopped, TPR issued further penalty notices and fines and on 17th December 2015 provided 28 days for all contributions to be met. On the 28th January 2016, TPR confirmed that the appropriate contributions had now been made so no further penalties accrued.


The final penalty of £22,900 (this also included the £400 initial fine handed out by TPR) was settled on 16th February.


“This case illustrates what can happen when an employer buries their head in the sand and disregards their duties” The Pensions Regulator’s Exec Director of Auto-Enrolment said


All businesses in the UK are required to put in place suitable pensions arrangements for their employees. You would have received a staging date from The Pensions Regulator so the rest is up to you. If you’re unsure how this applies to your company and would like some advice on auto-enrolment, we’re here to help.


Additionally, you will need to make adjustment to your Contract of Employment and maybe even your Employee Handbook to reflect this changes.

HR Heroes