An accounts manager who tried to hide the fact that restaurants had not given their staff workplace pensions has been ordered to pay £5,000.
Bradford-based Mansoor Nasir submitted false declarations of workplace pension compliance to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to claim that nine restaurants were giving their employees the correct benefits.
When TPR investigated it found that Nasir had failed to automatically enrol 103 staff into workplace pensions at the restaurants for which he was the payroll adviser in Birmingham, Manchester, Yorkshire and the North East. He tried to cover this up using false declarations between September 2014 and May 2017.
Nasir pleaded guilty to nine charges of knowingly or recklessly providing TPR with information which was false or misleading, contrary to section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004, when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 9 January.
Sentencing Nasir at the same court on 6 February, District Judge Teresa Szagun told the qualified accountant that his actions had been “deliberate”.
She added: “This legislation is to plan for the financial security of a growing and ageing population.
“The mischief has an impact not only for those individuals involved but for society as a whole.”
Judge Szagun ordered Nasir, who is based at Beaumont Management Services in Duncombe Road, Bradford, to pay a £3,320 fine, £1,560 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
Darren Ryder, TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment, said:
“Nasir claimed he didn’t know what he needed to do to put the staff into their workplace pensions but instead of asking us for help he put his head in the sand.
“There is guidance on our website and we also have people on hand to offer employers and advisers help on how to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.
“Nasir’s lies to us have now left him with an entirely avoidable bill and a criminal record."
Notes to Editors
- Knowingly or recklessly providing false information to TPR is an offence under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004. It carries a maximum sentence in a magistrates’ court of an unlimited fine.
- The restaurants that Nasir provided false information about are Akbars, Akbars Balti Restaurant Ltd, Cafe Akbar Ltd, Akbar Balti (Manchester) Ltd, Akbar Restaurant Birmingham Ltd, Akbar Balti (Sheffield) Ltd, Akbar Restaurant Newcastle Ltd, Akbar Leeds Ltd and Akbar Restaurant Middlesbrough Ltd.
- TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund; to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).