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Unpaid contributions – The case study of Ms N

Complaint Topic: Auto enrolment
Outcome: Resolved by Early Resolution
Type: Pension complaint or dispute

On joining her new employer and being automatically enrolled into a pension plan, Ms N realised that her former employer should have also automatically enrolled her into a pension plan. 

When she queried this with the former employer, they asserted that she had opted not to join. Ms N was adamant that this was not the case. As she was not satisfied with her former employer’s response, she complained to TPO.  

The Early Resolution Team contacted Ms N’s former employer. We asked if they could give us evidence to show that they had written to Ms N to explain automatic enrolment; that they had taken the necessary steps to enrol her; and that she had opted out. 

We subsequently discussed Ms N’s complaint with her former employer and they agreed that, in error, she had not been correctly enrolled into their scheme. They undertook to calculate the employer and employee contributions that were due and agreed they should pay their share to Ms N’s pension fund.

We asked whether the former employer would also consider the investment growth that Ms N may have lost out on because of the late payment of the contributions. Because Ms N had not been enrolled when she should have been, this was not straightforward. However, after talking to both Ms N and her former employer, it was agreed to use the fund performance achieved by the pension plan’s default fund from the point contributions should first have been paid.

Ms N’s former employer subsequently made a payment, covering both their outstanding contributions and the missed investment growth, to Ms N’s pension fund. Ms N arranged the payment of the contributions she should have paid. Both parties agreed the matter was resolved. 

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