PracticeConsultingFear recedes over damaging pension fines.

Fear recedes over damaging pension fines.

Penalties for companies who fail to sign up for stakeholder pensions lower than expected

Pensions regulator the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority has moved to indicate companies that have not signed up with a stakeholder provider are unlikely to face fines as high as #50,000.

Last week, AccountancyAge. com reported total fines could total as high as #11.5bn based on data from the Association of British Insurers, with as many as 200,000 of required companies not yet registered with a stakeholder pensions provider.

But Opra communications manager Nick Edmans this week said the #50,000 fines are off the agenda and the highest penalty companies are likely to face is a fine of #28,000 like the one faced by a county council for ‘multiple pensions violations’.

Edmans said Opra would not administer a fine on any company that ‘would do major damage to its business’ and said most fines had been in the order of #20 to #50.

Despite the 8 October deadline having already passed Edmans said there was still time for companies to sign up.

But he warned: ‘We will not be knocking on doors, but if we catch up with someone in say nine months time and they have not registered the case will be a lot worse.’

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