Synopsis: The Pensions Regulator has issued a Section 89 report showing one employer significantly failed in their automatic enrolment responsibilities. 

Date posted: Monday, April 28, 2014

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued its first automatic enrolment section 89 report which highlights key lessons to help employers avoid noncompliance.

The report sets out problems experienced by Dunelm Soft Furnishing Ltd and the action taken by the regulator. The account shows how the regulator worked with Dunelm to get it back on track towards compliance.

The Regulator found that Dunelm had failed to:

  • Enroll members of the four weekly payroll on time. These members were automatically enrolled a month late
  • Enroll certain members of the monthly payroll on time. These members were automatically enrolled three months late, and
  • Pay across to the pension provider a significant level of contributions as a result of the failures above.

Dunelm held that the reasons for the failure was partly due to the failings of the bespoke payroll solution which had design flaws resulting in significant delay in achieving compliance and completing registration. The bespoke payroll solution did not fulfill the Dunelm specification, was ineffective for automatic enrolment and the reporting capability was not fully functional.

TPR worked with Dunelm and the pension provider and are now fully compliant with their automatic enrolment duties and all outstanding contributions due have been paid.


The TPR recommends that employers and their advisers should allow 12m for their AE process plan. The Regulator is clearly making a statement that employers need to take their AE duties seriously. Time should be always be factored into the plan to ensure sufficient data cleansing and system testing takes place prior to the staging date.

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