Regulator fines nursery over pension scheme failings

A court has ordered a pre-school nursery and its main director to pay £8,200 for failing to comply with their pension duties

The pre-school nursery director was found to be misleading The Pensions Regulator (TPR) by falsely claiming staff had been put into a pension scheme.

At Brighton Magistrates’ Court, Merseyside-based Sulouste Ltd, which trades as Tiny Hearts Day Nursery, was sentenced for wilfully failing to enrol staff into a pension scheme and the director, Christine Moore, for providing TPR with false and misleading information.

In a false declaration of compliance, Moore told TPR that her company had automatically enrolled 13 nursery staff.

However, after an alert from a whistleblower and an investigation by the regulator, it emerged that while a pension scheme had been set up, no staff had been automatically enrolled.

Sentencing the company and Moore, district judge Teresa Szagun said: ‘The mistake of failing to comply has a detrimental impact not only on the individual employee but also on society as a whole.’

Sulouste Ltd, which is based in Waterloo, Merseyside, pleaded guilty to wilfully failing to comply with its automatic enrolment duties under section 45 of the Pensions Act 2008 Moore, who is the main director of Sulouste Ltd, pleaded guilty to recklessly providing TPR with false and misleading information.

Moore was fined £833 and an additional £83 victim’s surcharge was added. Sulouste Ltd was fined £4,915 and was ordered to pay a victim’s surcharge of £170 together with prosecution costs of £2,200.

Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment at TPR, said: ‘This outcome is another clear warning to employers that they must comply with their automatic enrolment duties and ensure staff receive the pension they are entitled to.

‘While the vast majority of employers do the right thing, we will take action against the small number that flout the law and risk the retirements of savers.’

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