UK - The Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority received more than 120 reports of companies which failed to enforce stakeholder compliance in the first week following the deadline.
But the pensions watchdog said no fines would be handed out until December, after cases had been verified and discussed by the board. OPRA spokesman Nick Edmans said that at first the board is likely to take a “pragmatic view” and advise employers which have not assigned a stakeholder to do so soon.
But he added: “The longer they leave it, the heavier the fine.”
Edmans said that despite a national advertising campaign, OPRA was receiving many enquiries from firms which did not know whether they were exempt from assigning a stakeholder provider.
The regulator confirmed that no large companies have been reported for non-compliance.
Many industry experts believe the pensions watchdog may single out and fine a household name as an example to others to comply with stakeholder regulation.
• OPRA confirmed that its plans to name and shame pension schemes, companies and trustees who are in breach of the Pension Act, will begin early next week.
So far, 41 cases have been reported and will be on OPRA’s website – www.opra.gov.uk.
The site will publish the name of the scheme, the breaches in question, the name of the business if it is an employer-related offence, and the penalty imposed.
The offences mostly relate to late accounts and late payment of employee contribution.
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers