Investigations launched into ‘rogue’ advisers

Investigations have begun into whether “rogue advisers” are advising employers to change their identity to avoid compliance with pension regulations.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is currently carrying out short-notice inspections in employers across the UK that are suspected of breaching their automatic enrolment duties, it has been announced. It comes as the regulator had been made aware of a number of employers that appear to have tried to conceal their failure to comply with the law by hiding behind a new name.

TPR investigators are now working with their counterparts at the Insolvency Service and other agencies to take action against offenders that try to use this ploy. Among the offences that may have been committed are fraud, theft and wilfully failing to comply with the automatic enrolment laws.

According to the regulator, those employers with a low number of staff could be trying to hide their non-compliance with the law by opening new businesses, transferring their workforce across and then dissolving the original businesses. The suspicion is that by changing name, those involved hope to avoid having to pay the pension contributions due.

TPR director of automatic enrolment Darren Ryder: “Some bosses might think that changing the name of their company they can avoid their duties but they should know they are on our radar.

“We are aware of the camouflage they are trying to use and will not be fooled by it.

“We will not tolerate any attempt to deny employees the workplace pensions they are entitled to – and will take action against those who try to dodge their duties.”

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