More than 1.6 million employers have declared their compliance with automatic enrolment responsibilities and more than ten million people are now saving into a
workplace pension.

However, we are not complacent and are focused on ensuring the success continues. We're working to ensure employers continue to do the right thing so that staff receive the pensions they are due.

Business advisers

Every quarter we publish our compliance and enforcement bulletin showing how many times we have used our powers. The bulletin also includes anonymous examples of where we have used our powers so that employers and their advisers can learn lessons and avoid the same mistakes.

Our most recent bulletin shows how we successfully prosecuted a third accountant for deliberately lying about completing automatic enrolment duties on behalf of an employer, and he incurred fines and costs of £5,000 for the offence. Although the employer is legally responsible for completing their duties, knowingly providing false information to us is a crime by whoever completes the declaration, and advisers who lie to us will be found out.

Around 30% of new employers are seeking external help with some or all of their AE duties as part of their day to day financial administration - so having advisers who are competent and knowledgeable about all aspects of AE is vitally important. Employers should ensure their adviser is carrying out automatic enrolment tasks for them as agreed.

New businesses

Our research shows that the vast majority of new employers are successfully meeting their workplace pensions duties, however there are a minority who fail. HMRC supply us with RTI (real time information) data that we use to know whether an employer has taken on staff but failed to meet their workplace pensions duties and we will take action to ensure employers comply with their responsibilities.

Employers should ensure they keep their letter code to use in any communications with TPR. Businesses who receive a letter from us, but who do not employ staff, should let us know so that they are not sent further communications.

When choosing a pension scheme, employers should ensure they choose a scheme that's suitable for their staff including considering what type of tax relief method it uses and ensuring it is compatible with their payroll solution.

Ongoing duties

Once staff have been automatically enrolled, employers must carry out on-going duties so that staff continue to receive the pensions they are entitled to. Our research shows on-going duties take less time and effort than employers anticipate, with most spending just one to two hours per month on them.

Ongoing duties include keeping accurate records, monitoring ages and earnings of staff, putting those who become eligible into a pension scheme and maintaining the correct pensions contributions.


As well as completing their on-going duties, employers must also periodically complete re-enrolment. Already more than 380,000 employers have completed their re-declaration of compliance to confirm to us they have completed this task. This summer we will see a peak of 140,000 small and micro businesses that will reach their first re-enrolment dates.

Employers must complete re-enrolment every three years.They must choose a re-enrolment date which falls in the three months either side of the first anniversary of their staging date - which is the date their workplace pensions duties started.  

Being able to pick a re-enrolment date means employers can choose a time which is suitable for them and aligns with their business processes. Usually, the easiest date to choose is the third anniversary of their staging date (or duties start date for
new employers).

On their chosen re-enrolment date, employers must assess staff who opted out or left the scheme since they were enrolled, to check if they are still eligible. If they are, they must be re-enrolled back into a pension scheme. Employers must inform these staff in writing that this has happened.

Employers must then complete and submit an online declaration of compliance form to confirm to TPR what they have done to meet their re-enrolment responsibilities.  This must be done within five months of the third anniversary of their staging date regardless of the date the employer chooses as their re-enrolment date. Failure to carry out this task on time means employers are at risk of a fine.

Low opt out rates mean that the majority of employers will not have staff to re-enrol, however they must still complete their re-declaration to confirm they have checked whether they need to re-enrol any of their staff, even if none were re-enrolled.

Re-enrolment is a two-step process. After re-enrolment has been carried out, employers must complete an online re-declaration of compliance. This confirms to TPR what the employer has done to meet their duties and failure to do this could lead to a fine. 

Compliance inspections

Over the coming months we'll be continuing our latest wave of spot checks
on large employers.

The compliance inspections are being carried out on some of the UK's largest employers to ensure thousands of staff continue to receive the pensions they are due.

Large employers led the way at the start of automatic enrolment by successfully meeting their new duties - and compliance soon became the norm for all employers.

So far, several large firms including banks, local authorities, supermarkets and national charities have been visited to check they are still doing the right thing for nearly half a million employees.

Compliance with the law remains high and these inspections help ensure that these employers are continuing to meet their ongoing duties.

The compliance inspections follow a round of visits last spring to large employers to ensure they are complying correctly with their ongoing duties.

We are also continuing our compliance inspections on small employers. 

TPR is led by data and intelligence streams which enable us to detect potential non-compliance and take swift action against individual employers. Using our information, we can pinpoint specific employers up and down the country who are suspected of breaking the law, including those who fail to put staff into a pension scheme or who make no, or incorrect, pension contributions.

Our research shows 74% of inspections on small employers revealed breaches in pensions legislation with 76% of these resulting in enforcement action.

We know the vast majority of employers are doing the right thing for their staff, however the small minority who persistently ignore their responsibilities can expect a knock at the door from us and enforcement action. 

Read the full bulletin here: