Watch­dog warns over il­le­gal cuts to pen­sion pro­vi­sion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Jes­sica Beard

UN­SCRUPU­LOUS firms are il­le­gally per­suad­ing their staff to opt out of a work­place pen­sion in a bid to cut costs dur­ing the pan­demic, pen­sion reg­u­la­tors have warned.

Some bosses are try­ing to nudge work­ers out of re­tire­ment schemes so the firms no longer have to pay their share of con­tri­bu­tions, ac­cord­ing to pen­sions om­buds­man An­thony Arter.

He told MPs on the work and pen­sions se­lect com­mit­tee that the pan­demic is trig­ger­ing a spike in com­pa­nies seek­ing to limit what they pay through the auto-en­rol­ment pro­gramme, even though this is against the law.

Mr Arter said: “There will be a lot of small em­ploy­ers who will turn to their em­ploy­ees and try and en­cour­age them to opt out of au­to­matic en­rol­ment.”

The Pen­sions Reg­u­la­tor said it will fine any com­pa­nies found to be break­ing the rules. It has the power to is­sue penal­ties up to £50,000. Em­ploy­ers found to have coaxed staff out of their work­place pen­sion will also have to back­date any miss­ing con­tri­bu­tions.

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