TPO upholds auto-enrolment complaint

The Pensions Ombudsman (TPO) has upheld a complaint against a post office in Blackpool after it failed to auto-enrol one of its employees into a workplace pension scheme.

Ansdell Road Post Office and Fylde News was ordered to pay the complainant, Miss Y, £500 for the “significant” distress and inconvenience, and to enrol Miss Y into the scheme.

It also told the employer to provide details of the employee contributions she must make for the eligible auto-enrolment periods of her employment, pay them into the scheme with the required employer contributions for the period, and add any growth in pension funds that would have occurred if the contributions had been paid in time.

Miss Y was not enrolled in the Ansdell Road Post Office and Fylde News Group Personal Pension Plan as her contracted wages did not total £10,000 a year, or £768 over each four-week period.

The employer stated that Miss Y’s pensionable earnings did not include overtime pay, which would have brought Miss Y’s earnings over the auto-enrolment threshold in multiple four-week periods.

However, it was found that the employer had selected Tier 2 as the earnings basis for the scheme, and therefore overtime should have counted towards pensionable earnings.

Furthermore, TPO found that Miss Y had not opted out of the scheme in writing, as required by legislation if the employee was to not be enrolled in the scheme.

TPO stated that the employer's failure to either enrol Miss Y into the scheme or obtain signed confirmation that she wished to opt out amounted to maladministration, and upheld the complaint.

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