TPR warns employers as inducement to opt out law comes into effect

The Pensions Regulator has warned employers to expect to be fined if they flout new laws prohibiting employers from inducing staff to opt out of pensions that came into force yesterday. 

The new rules apply to both existing workers and potential new recruits. Making a job offer or higher salary conditional on not joining the employer’s automatic enrolment scheme is now illegal. A whistleblower’s contact facility has been set up at The Pensions Regulator’s website for individuals who believe employers are breaching the new rules. It can be viewed at www.tpr.gov.uk/individuals/reporting-a-concern.aspx.

The Department for Work and Pensions and TPR have also unveiled an online tool for employers to select the right pension communication letter to suit the circumstances of their workers. TPR is also offering supporting template posters, content for employee bulletins and other tips including a pensions language guide and myth-buster at www.tpr.gov.uk/workplacepension.

Charles Counsell, executive director for employer compliance, TPR says: “Employers should be under no illusion that we will take action against any tactics to tempt or pressurise staff to opt out of pension saving, whether it’s during the recruitment process or after. This could include a substantial fine.”

Minister for pensions, Steve Webb says: “Giving workers information about automatic enrolment will be the duty of employers, and the templates launched today will make it as simple as possible for them to keep their employees up-to-speed on their pension entitlements.”