Although most employers are fulfilling their auto enrolment duties on time, smaller firms seem to be dragging their heels; as auto enrolment rolls out to ‘small and micro’ employers it appears many are leaving it to the last minute before they do something.
In fact, in the second quarter of 2016, “40% of employers completed their pension scheme applications either very close to their staging date or after their deadline had already passed – the highest percentage over the recorded quarters.” reports Now:Pensions’ CEO Morten Nilsson in Corporate Adviser (read Corporate Adviser’s summary here).
Auto enrolment was introduced on 1 October 2012 by the Pensions Act 2008, it being rolled out to every employer in a programme that’s due to finish in 2018. The programme’s timetable is on a largest-to-smallest basis and is currently in the ‘fewer than 30 employers’ category.
Auto enrolment is not optional – it’s a legal requirement for every employer irrespective of their size. Even if you employ just one person, if they meet the qualification criteria you are legally obliged to enroll them into a suitable pension scheme – and you must assess every employee against the criteria and report back to The Pensions Regulator. There are no exceptions. It can be a major undertaking, especially for small organisations or employers who may not have any dealings with employee pensions. Given the amount of work that’s needed, it’s easy to see why small employers may ‘ignore’ auto enrolment thinking it doesn’t apply to them but do so at your peril, there are stiff financial penalties.
The very best thing to do is talk to a qualified financial adviser as soon as you can: they’ll be able to confirm whether you are affected and offer advice about what you need to do. There’s plenty of information on our website – www.onefinancialsolutions.co.uk – and we’re only a phone call or email away. As an independent firm of IFAs we’ll offer you expert advice on an impartial basis so, ‘if in doubt’, call us on 020 3714 9565 or email us at email@example.com for a confidential chat.