Guest comment: The right action at the right time

Covid-19’s short-term challenges are immense, but it’s vital we don’t lose sight of the longer term.

At the start of the pandemic, we quickly supported businesses with clear guidance on our auto-enrolment (AE) expectations and altered our enforcement approach so as not to worsen the situation.

This temporary change has seen a drop in the times we used our powers and demonstrates how we responded to ease the Covid-19’s burden on employers in a pragmatic and proportionate way.

We delayed enforcement action for those concerned they wouldn’t be able to make the correct contributions.

We gave more time to agree action plans with providers to bring payments up to date.

And, while non-compliant employers received warning notices, we made decisions whether to escalate enforcement in recognition of the pressures they were under.

Despite the challenges, the vast majority of employers continue to meet their AE duties. We have not to date seen a significant spike in missed contributions or non-compliance.

While we have been taking a pragmatic approach, we are focused on taking action against wilfully non-compliant employers or those committing serious breaches.

We continue to monitor compliance to ensure failing employers get back on track and staff receive the pensions they’re entitled to. We take a dim view of employers who seek to exploit Covid-19 to avoid their duties.

Our message is clear. We will take the right action at the right time to support employers and ensure savers are protected

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