Small businesses urged to watch out for pensions auto-enrolment scam

Small and medium sized businesses across the country have diligently set up pension auto-enrolment schemes for their employees. However, a new scam threatens to undermine those who have yet to get this sorted.


The Pensions Regulator is warning small businesses about a scam that is targeting their willingness to comply with auto-enrolment laws. Some small and medium sized businesses have been conned by slick tricksters. These con artists claim that small businesses can buy an ‘exemption certificate.’ They convince the business owner that this certificate will allow them to delay their auto-enrolment obligations.


As you are likely aware, businesses of all sizes across the UK are required to set their employees up on an automatic pensions scheme. Online fraudsters are now targeting small businesses, offering them fake documents. They claim that these documents, called ‘certificates of auto-enrolment exemption,’ will allow a business owner to avoid having to provide an employee pension.


The Pensions Regulator is currently looking into at least one company that is offering these fake documents. They are clear about the fact that these companies are not trying to evade the system, just looking to extend their deadline.


“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.”


Many companies have fallen for this scam, and it is certain that some have not yet come forward about having been swindled. Worse yet, some may not be aware of the scam. They will continue on thinking that they are complying with the law. They might not become aware of this scam until they are slapped with potentially massive penalties. This could be especially galling, as they will believe that they are doing the right thing while in fact they are falling afoul of the law.


Over the course of the next six months, nearly half a million small firms across the UK will be required to start their own auto-enrolment pension scheme. If they fail to do so, they will be hit with fines and penalties. In fact, the Pensions Regulator has already levied more than 17,000 fines against firms that have neglected their auto-enrolment requirements.


Want to avoid these fines? Make sure that you comply with the auto-enrolment regulations, and don’t fall for this scam. If you need guidance or advice on how to stay on the right side of the law, call Options Pensions Ltd. today. Our expert team is here to help you to get your pension auto-enrolment plan sorted on time, before your deadline. We can also advise you on any paperwork or certificates that you might hear about, and we’ll prevent you from falling for scams.


Call or email us today, and let’s get started.