Accountant fined for pension enrolment failure

A former accountant accused of misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) after he failed to enrol a client’s staff into a pension has been ordered to pay £4,987

Paul Rewrie, of Crewkerne in Somerset, pleaded guilty to one charge of knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information to TPR at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

Rewrie was sole director of accountancy company PR Finance and Development Ltd, formerly Paul Rewrie Ltd, and was hired by a Cambridge based family-run company to enrol its staff into a pension scheme.

He admitted falsely declaring that staff at the company had been enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, when he knew that was not the case. Providing false or misleading information to TPR is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004.

Rewrie was struck off CIMA’s register in May 2018 in relation to a separate case. Upon reading that decision, District Judge Teresa Szagen accepted that the defendant’s behaviour was sufficiently similar in nature (ie, providing false and misleading information, and failure to file documents) that it needed to be taken into account for the purposes of sentencing in this case.

Sentencing Rewrie, Judge Szagen also emphasised that failure to comply with automatic enrolment duties is not only detrimental to individual staff but also to society as a whole.

Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment at TPR, said: ‘This case is another clear warning that we will not stand by while those who support employers flout the law and fail to ensure staff are getting the pension they deserve.

‘Deliberate action to avoid pension duties risks a criminal investigation, fines and a criminal record.’

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 8 January, Rewrie was fined £2,667 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £2,200 in costs.

It is the third case TPR has brought against an accountant for providing false or misleading information.

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