Ex-accountant fined £5k for misleading TPR over workplace pensions

Holly Roach writes...

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has fined a former accountant £4,987 after he failed to enrol staff into a workplace pension scheme.

The former director of accountancy company PR Finance and Development Paul Eugene Rewrie was charged by the regulator with knowingly or recklessly providing false or misleading information under section 80 of the Pensions Act 2004, a charge he pleaded guilty to at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.

He was hired by a Cambridge-based company to enrol its staff into a workplace pension scheme and admitted falsely declaring that company staff had been enrolled into it when they had not been.

Sentencing Rewrie, district judge Teresa Szagen said his behaviour was “sufficiently similar in nature” to that in relation to a separate case which led him to be struck off the Chartered Institute of Management Accountant’s register in 2018.

She also said failing to comply with auto-enrolment (AE) duties is “not only detrimental to individual staff, but to society as a whole”.

TPR director of AE Darren Ryder added: “This case is another clear warning that we will not stand by while those who support employers flout the law and fail to ensure staff are getting the pension they deserve.

“Deliberate action to avoid pension duties risks a criminal investigation, fines and a criminal record.”

Rewrie was fined £2,667 and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £2,200 in costs.

This is the third case the regulator has brought against an accountant for providing false or misleading information.

Previously, TPR handed a London-based employer a £350,000 fine for pension duties failure and in November, a pre-school nursery and its director were ordered to pay £8,200 after admitting failing to enrol members of staff into a workplace pension scheme.