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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50165
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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im a teacher and just found out that my ex employer an FE college

Customer Question

im a teacher and just found out that my ex employer an FE college failed to make pension contribution payments for 5 months during my 12 years service with them - the college are saying it was my responsibility to check each year that these were paid?
where do i stand?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were these payments actually taken off your wages? Or did you receive the amount in your normal pay and the employer simply failed to apportion them as pension contributions and instead paid it to you?

JACUSTOMER-y2k1n9by- : Payments were taken from my pay yet appear to be 5 months missing in my pensions review from the teacher pension scheme?
Ben Jones :

When an employer is making pensions contributions to a personal pension plan, then it is generally down to you to ensure that these are being made and to keep track of the payments being taken out and paid in. For example, if an employer fails to take the payments out of your pay and invest them in the pension, it would be for you to bring this to their attention and make arrangements for this to be done properly. However, if the payments were taken out of your pay and never transferred to the pension plan, then these would be owed to you by the employer. Even if you did not bring the missing payments to their attention at the time, that is still money which was deducted at source and would be owed to you by the employer. You may not necessarily be able to re-invest these into the pension plan but it is still something which you can pursue them for as it legally belongs to you. If you received any tax relief on these payments then that is something which you may have to pay back to the Revenue once the money has been returned.

Whilst legal action is an option, as it should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

  1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
  3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

JACUSTOMER-y2k1n9by- :

hi so would it still be my responsibility if it appears to have been taken in my payslip (this is where I presume it has been paid to teachers pension scheme and my check) or should I be contacting the teachers pension scheme monthly to make sure my employer is doing their job. Your response intimates that it my responsibility to check but unless I contact them on a regular basis the only record I would have or any teacher would be the payslip?

Ben Jones :

it is your responsibility to check with the pensions provider, you can do this as often as you want but most people just rely on an annual statement to ensure everything is as it should be. Just because it has been taken out of your payslip does not mean it has been paid in to the scheme, but as mentioned if the money was taken off and never deposited then you would still be owed that money by the employer

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks