The Pensions Regulator have published a case relating to Johnsons Shoe Company and a £40,000 fine for failing to comply with their auto-enrolment duties.

  • Johnsons’ staging date was 1 May 2014
  • They were due to submit their auto-enrolment declaration of compliance by 30 September 2014
  • They missed the deadline
  • The Pensions Regulator repeatedly tried to communicate and educate Johnsons to enable them to meet their duties but there was a lack of action on Johnsons part
  • A Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £400 was issued and Johnsons took some steps to meet their duties in reaction
  • Johnsons remained non-compliant and they were issued with an Escalating Penalty Notice (EPN) in November 2015
  • The EPN took effect from 8 December, when further penalties accrued at a rate of £2,500 per day.
  • The EPN totalled £40,000 by the time Johnsons were compliant.

Johnsons initially indicated that they would not pay the fine and that the pressures of work were to blame for not meeting their duties.

The Pensions Regulator did not accept that there was a reasonable excuse and Johnsons were out of time to ask for a review of the fine. Johnsons eventually settled the Pensions Regulator’s £2,000 court fee as well as the fines.

Johnsons were more than a year late before the EPN daily penalties took effect and the original Compliance Notice was issued in April 2015. The Pensions Regulator says that it will engage with employers and help them to try and achieve compliance.

1 October 2017

  • From 1 October 2017, all new employers and all those who fall within the auto-enrolment requirements for the first time after that date, will have legal duties immediately.

For those who employ someone before 30 September 2017, you can find out your staging date on the Pensions Regulator site, here.


Our guides:

Penalties: Auto enrolment (pensions) Employer Briefing

Auto-enrolment: workplace pensions (subscriber guide)

Auto enrolment: client letter

Auto enrolment earnings threshold

Pensions: tax rules and planning

Link to The Pensions Regulator guidance for employers


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