We helped a client where there had been a failure to pay over pension contributions.
KC enrols its staff into the National Employment Savings Trust pension scheme (NEST) and makes pension contributions on their behalf. Contributions need to be paid over during the month after the period to which they relate.
KC’s Finance Manager was responsible for managing the payment over of contributions. Unfortunately, he failed to pay over contributions due amounting to £69 and to respond to warnings from both NEST and the Pensions Regulator. The Pensions Regulator, therefore, imposed both a fixed penalty fine of £400 and an escalating penalty, which rose by £2,500 per day. The Finance Manager hid both the warnings and the notification of the fines from senior managers at KC.
By the time that senior managers became aware, the escalating penalty fine had reached approximately £65,000.
What was our role?
The outstanding contributions were quickly paid over, but KC sought our help to challenge the fines. An initial challenge to the Pensions Regulator had already been rejected. We helped KC to write a detailed letter to the Pensions Regulator and also submitted an appeal against the fines to the First Tier Tribunal. In response to this, the Pension Regulator cancelled the fines.
How did we add value?
We helped KC to present its challenge in the best way, using all the available evidence and to use the relevant law to argue persuasively that the fines should be cancelled. This resulted in an early cancellation of the fines, saving KC the cost of pursuing its appeal to the First Tier Tribunal, as well as the substantial fines.