Regulator To Allow More Time For Auto-Enrolment Contributions
21 September 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) – The Pensions Regulator will publish a consultation about who polices auto-enrolment contributions next week, extending the compliance period by one month.
The watchdog has been at odds with the insurance industry for months about whether providers should check their clients' payroll data to ensure the sums they pay into schemes are correct, in line with the legislation.
As the rules stand, insurers believe they can accept the figures sponsors tell them, and simply have to ensure those payments are made on time.
The regulator will put its proposals to public consultation next week, including an extension to the ammount of time sponsors have to make up missed payments.
Regardless of whether the rules on ensuring accuracy change, providers will have to take steps to recover unpaid cash before handing cases to the regulator.
As things stand, they can give 19 days before they contact the sponsor, and a further 90 days, during which they have to engage with their client about the issue, before handing it to the regulator.
But sources close to the consultation have told PLANSPONSOR Europe the regulator will extend this to 120 days, as it is concerned 90 days is not long enough and will result in too many cases being handed to them, creating a strain on its auto-enrolment compliance resources.
The regulator declined to comment on the extension but a spokesman said there is a forthcoming consultation "reviewing the framework for maintaining contributions to identify the most efficient and effective approach to achieving good member outcomes".