“Velvet glove- iron fist -my arse!”
As one Liverpudlian patriarch might have put it. I very much doubt that many employers see the doling out of three £400 penalty notices by the Pension Regulator as a wake-up call to get auto-enrolling.
And that’s not a criticism of the Regulator or the number or level of fines, it’s a criticism of financial journalists and commentators who are trying to leverage every bit of marketing value they can out of latest enforcement statement. To wit – this article in FTadviser .one of many that menace SMEs with the usual garbage about tsunamis, crunches and such-like Cassandran outpourings!
Auto-enrolment will not be a success because employers are afraid not to- it will succeed because employees want to be in and employers care that they’re “in” decent schemes that give them a half-decent chance of getting some freedom in retirement.
Charles Counsel, Neil Esslemont and Andrew Fleming (and others) are playing an absolute blinder creating positive awareness for auto-enrolment. I won’t berate them or their colleagues in the DC team for the lacklustre promotion of the pensions that we enrol into (well only this much!) as the reason fines aren’t being dished out like parking tickets is that the message is getting through.
So come on financial journalists and come off it “auto-enrolment experts”, the levels of non-compliance, though higher than the four fines and 163 compliance notices suggest, is not a pandemic of wilful corporate disobedience.
To return to the scouse vernacular
Calm down- calm down!