We’re straying a bit outside of our usual focus on the design aspects of office life in this article as we felt it was pertinent to share with you a recent warning issued by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) regarding an ongoing and widespread scam targeting employers throughout the UK. The scam in question focuses on the auto-enrolment regulations regarding pensions, under which employers must offer their staff a pension which the company will also pay into, helping their employees to secure their future following their working life. According to TPR, several companies have been duped by fraudsters into purchasing an ‘exemption certificate’ which the scammers purport will allow employers to bypass the regulations and avoid workplace pension duties.

No such document has ever been produced or distributed by the TPR or any other official government body.

TPR have confirmed that they are currently investigating at least one company which offers such certificates to employers, but there are undoubtedly others playing the same game. They did however state that they are not viewing the companies which purchased the certificates as suspicious or in any way intentionally committing the offense.

The TPR statement reads, “A number of employers have been persuaded to pay for the documents, with the scammers claiming the paperwork means the holders do not have any workplace pension duties.

“While employers have been charged £58 for the certificates, the documents are worthless – no such documents are produced or accepted by TPR 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, and may be committing an offence.”

Darren Ryder, director of automatic enrolment for TPR, also commented, “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.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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