Contrary to general opinion, ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. It’s a misconception! They do keep their heads low to the ground when surveying possible dangers that might be on the horizon but we can label that as being diligent – quite the opposite of burying your head in the sand.
Swindon Town Football Club should have learned from the ostriches and kept an eye open for dangers looming on the horizon. Despite being aware of the regulatory requirements of auto–enrolment and work place pensions, they failed to meet the required deadline. This led to an initial £400 fine – possibly a small amount in comparison to the finances of a football club, but a fine none the less. Sadly, the fine did not spur the club into action quickly enough. Having allowed 28 days grace to get their pension house in order, The Pension Regulator fined the club a further £22,500 – an additional fine of £2,500 per day for every day that exceeded the initial 28 days grace.
There are two lessons to learn from this story:
- If you are an employer and you have a deadline to set up a work place pension scheme, please take this deadline seriously.
- The regulator has teeth and isn’t frightened to bear them.
There is a third lesson – but if you are an employer needing advice about pensions, learning about the habits of ostriches is probably not that important.
If you have any concerns about auto-enrolment and impending deadlines, please contact us >>