Regulator’s reminder: Workplace pension duties still apply

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued a reminder to employers that their workplace pension duties still apply whether staff are working or are furloughed as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

A report in HMRC’s August Employer Bulletin reveals that TPR will “continue to monitor employer actions” to ensure compliance.

It also stresses that since the beginning of this month employers have needed to pay the pension and NI contributions for their furloughed workers.

The regulator has issued detailed guidance for employers here: https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/covid-19-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-consider/automatic-enrolment-and-pension-contributions-covid-19-guidance-for-employers?utm_source=hmrc_bulletin&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=q2_ae_tpr_covid19&utm_content=employers

It covers a range of subjects, including maintaining pension contributions, new employers and re-enrolment.

The guidance also includes information about the support available for employers struggling to make their contributions because of the impact of coronavirus.

A TPR statement says: “We want to help employers to keep going in these challenging times, so we will take a proportionate and risk-based approach towards enforcement against those who fail to meet their duties.”

The guidance will help employers find out more about how to calculate normal pension contributions for furloughed workers who are returning to work part-time, including where there are salary sacrifice arrangements for pensions in place.

The TPR’s website (www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk) also has a Covid-19 page which includes the latest information about what to do if you have a defined benefit pension for staff and have been temporarily suspending or reducing ‘deficit repair contributions’ for the scheme.