Glasgow and Clydeside employers targeted with spot-check inspections by The Pensions Regulator this week

28/09/2023
  • Inspections by The Pensions Regulator over the next week will help protect retirement pots of more than 72,000 employees across Glasgow City Region   
  • Pension rules have helped over 1.4m workers in Scotland gain workplace pensions in just over a decade, including more than 430,000 in the Glasgow area  
  • 621 fines were issued in Glasgow City Region in the first half of 2023, including a fine of £52,500 to an employer in Inverclyde – the highest in UK

EMPLOYERS in the Glasgow City Region are to be targeted with spot-check inspections to ensure their staff are getting the workplace pensions they are due.  

Inspection teams from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will be visiting businesses in the city of Glasgow and surrounding areas in the next week.  
 
The vast majority of employers in the Glasgow City Region are meeting their pension duties, but 621 fines were issued to employers by the regulator in the first six months of 2023 for breaching automatic enrolment (AE) legislation protecting their staff, according to data released by TPR.  
 
One employer in Inverclyde was fined £52,500 in the first half of 2023 for failing to meet their pension duties. This was the biggest fine issued by TPR in this period. 
 
The in-person inspections this week will help protect close to 72,500 employees of these firms in the Glasgow City Region, helping to ensure people reach retirement with the pension pots they are entitled to.  Inspectors have already visited employers in the area earlier this year and are set to return again later in the autumn. 
 

“We could be knocking on any employer’s door” 

TPR’s Head of AE Compliance and Enforcement, Joe Turner, said: “Automatic enrolment has been a great success in the Glasgow City Region.   
 
“More than 28,000 employers in the area have enrolled employees in workplace pension schemes since AE was launched in 2012, with over 430,000 workers gaining pension pots as a result.  

“Many of these people are saving for their retirement for the first time, and we want to do everything we can to ensure all savers get the pensions they have worked so hard for.  We monitor employers big and small, across all sectors, which means we could be knocking on any employer’s door.   

More than £500m collected in unpaid contributions 

“While the great majority of employers are doing the right thing for their staff, the fines we have issued in Glasgow City Region this year send a clear warning to those that fail their employees: We will fine you. Where necessary, we will also use our powers to prosecute. 

“Our enforcement action has led to more than £500 million in unpaid pension contributions being collected from employers nationally since 2012.”  

TPR will also be carrying out some inspections in the Edinburgh and Mid-Lothian areas of Scotland. They are part of a series being carried out across all UK nations and regions.  

In some cases, the inspections are prompted by intelligence that an employer may have breached regulations, but inspection teams may also select employers using a risk-based approach, and carry out checks to ensure they are fully complying with their duties.   
  
TPR monitors employers in various ways, using data from various sources, alerts from pension schemes, whistleblowing reports from individuals, and other information and intelligence.  

What the fines are for 

Breaches typically include employers failing to enrol eligible staff in a pension scheme or to pay contributions into a scheme on their staff’s behalf within a prescribed period, which in some cases can include money the employer has already deducted from staff salaries. This can result in fines or even prosecution. 

Pensions milestones for Scotland and the Glasgow City Region 

  • Since AE was launched in 2012, more than 94,000 employers¹ in Scotland have enrolled a total of 1,431,000 workers in workplace pension schemes. 
  • In the Glasgow City Region, close to 28,300 employers¹ have enrolled staff in workplace pension schemes  

As a result, close to 432,000 workers in the Glasgow City Region have gained workplace pension pots since 2012.  
This includes 237,000 workers in Glasgow City; 11,000 in East Dunbartonshire; 11,000 in East Renfrewshire;15,000 in Inverclyde; 59,000 in North Lanarkshire; 39,000 in Renfrewshire; 53,000 in South Lanarkshire; and 13,000 in West Dunbartonshire. 

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