Oldham bus firm first to be fined for pension law breach

A bus company has become the first UK firm to be sentenced for failing to enrol staff on a pension scheme.

Stotts Tours of Oldham, Greater Manchester, should have begun pension contributions for staff from 2015, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said.

The firm and its managing director Alan Stott previously admitted wilful failure to comply with pensions law.
They were ordered to pay more than £39,000 at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Teresa Szagun said: “Initially Mr Stott’s attitude was to bury his head in the sand. This later left him in a position where he was out of his depth.”

The fines and court costs come on top of £14,400 in civil fines already owed for failing to comply with the law on automatic pension enrolment.

Stotts Tours must also pay an estimated £10,000 in backdated pension contributions for its staff, as well as ongoing contributions. Continue reading “Oldham bus firm first to be fined for pension law breach”

What the new pension rules mean for you

Changes to pension tax relief – read if you are a higher or top-rate taxpayer and have a pension.

On 5 December 2012, the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement. He announced cuts to the tax relief currently available to pension investors. The changes will only be effective from the 2014-2015 tax year. This means there is enough time for investors to plan and make the most of the current allowances. Continue reading “What the new pension rules mean for you”

EU Gender Directive Imminent

Male pension incomes set to fall – act before 21 December

Until 21 December 2012 when the EU Gender Directive comes into effect, men are entitled to higher private pension incomes (annuities) than women. Men receive higher annuities because statistically women live longer, so their pension income has to stretch further.

After 21 December, male and female annuity rates will be equalised thanks to the EU Gender Directive. Therefore men who wish to buy their annuity this year should consider acting sooner rather than later to take advantage of higher male annuity rates. This will not affect existing annuities in payment. Continue reading “EU Gender Directive Imminent”

Q&A: Pension automatic enrolment

For many, the system will be the first time they have saved for a pension.

Millions of workers in the UK will gradually see a slice of their pay packet being automatically diverted to a savings pot for their pension.

Employers are obliged to pay in as well, with the government adding a little extra through tax relief.

The system – called automatic enrolment – starts at the beginning of October with staff who work for the biggest businesses, with others being signed up over the next six years.

Those who already save in a workplace pension scheme or are self-employed will not be signed up.

Experts and ministers say it is vital people make a start at an early stage in their working lives, to eventually have savings that will top up the state pension. Continue reading “Q&A: Pension automatic enrolment”

Pensions: Automatic enrolment system timetable revealed

Some 600,000 people are expected to be enrolled into a workplace pension by the end of the year under a new system that automatically diverts funds from their pay packet.

The automatic enrolment scheme begins on 1 October and will mark one of the biggest changes to the pension system in the UK.

It will start with the largest firms.Employers and staff will pay contributions into pension savings unless the worker opts out. Workers aged over 22, earning more than £8,105 and not already signed up to a workplace pension scheme will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme.

However, this system will be phased in gradually, with workers in the smallest firms not seeing a change for a few years. Continue reading “Pensions: Automatic enrolment system timetable revealed”