Employers have been warned not to fall for a scam involving the sale of fake certificates which suggest the holders do not have any workplace pension duties, with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) currently investigating a company
The Pensions Regulator has launched an investigation into at least one company offering what it describes as ‘Certificates of Auto Enrolment Exemption’ to employers.
The scammers persuade employers to pay £58 for the documents, claiming that the paperwork means the holders do not have any workplace pension duties, such as auto enrolment. However, the documents are worthless as no such documents are produced or accepted by The Pensions Regulator as evidence of automatic enrolment exemption.
There is no evidence that employers are buying the fake documents with the intention of committing any offences. However, employers who have failed to comply with their duties because they believe the documents give them an exemption leave themselves open to being fined.
Any employer who is offered to buy a certificate of exemption or any similar sounding document is being urged to decline and contact The Pensions Regulator immediately.
Darren Ryder, The Pensions Regulator’s director of automatic enrolment, said: ‘Most independent advisers offer legitimate services that assist employers with their workplace pension duties. Nevertheless, employers need to take care when they are seeking help or advice about what they need to do about automatic enrolment.
‘We will work to root out the small number of organisations that are looking to prey on hard-working employers, abusing their trust and tricking them out of their money.’
Every individual or organisation in the UK that employs at least one person has automatic enrolment duties. This could simply be informing The Pensions Regulator that they do not have any staff that qualify for automatic enrolment, otherwise employers will have to enrol some or all of their staff in a workplace pension and make regular contributions.