Pensions auto-enrolment – what you should know

Pensions Auto-enrolment – what you should know

For small and micro employers, the time is almost upon you for planning your auto-enrolment, hence a timely reminder from us to start thinking about this.  A few useful points are provided below:

What is it?

ALL employers are legally required to automatically enrol certain staff into a pension scheme and make contributions for them.  You will also have to tell your staff about the scheme you put them in and allow other staff to join if they request to do so.

When will it affect my business?

  •  Every employer has been given a ‘Staging Date’. This is the date by which your pension scheme should be up and running, not when the planning starts!  The Pensions Regulator will write directly to small employers alerting them that they have 12 months to go before staging, however, you can find out your staging date very easily by entering your PAYE reference into the Pensions Regulator tool.
  • As a rule of thumb, small employers (less than 50 employees) will have a staging date between 1st June 2015 and 1st April 2017.  New employers from 1st April 2012 will stage in 2017 or 2018.

Why are we reminding you now?

The Regulator suggests it takes 12 months planning and preparation.  Lessons learned from companies who have done this confirm this is the case.

  • There will be a cost to your business, not just for contributions, but potentially for implementation, though good planning can reduce this.
  • Pensions providers are becoming saturated, getting your provider sorted out earlier than the rest is advisable.
  • It’s a significant change for you and your staff, so a clear communication plan is essential.

Your next steps

If you do nothing else yet, the important things for today are:

  • Check when your staging is.
  • Make a note of your 12 months pre planning date.
  • Talk to your HR support about the steps you will need to take.

So in a nutshell, it’s coming, it affects all employers, and planning properly can take away the headache of implementing this for your employees, and potentially reduce the cost.