Fear recedes over damaging pension fines.

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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