20 Aug Pension auto enrolment
The introduction of automatic enrolment for workplace pensions is intended to ensure that many more employees begin to make proper provision for having a work based pension. The new rules for automatic enrolment came into effect on 1 October 2012. The new pension rules are encouraging employees to start making provision for their retirement with employers and government also contributing to make a larger pension pot.
The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff started with larger businesses, followed by medium, and then small and micro companies. It is expected that all employers will be part of the scheme by February 2018. The first batch of small and micro employers with 30 or less employers began to enrol in the scheme on 1 June 2015.
While staff may be automatically enrolled, there is still significant work for employers who need to prepare for the changes. For many employers, particularly small and micro employers, the introduction of automatic enrolment is a new and unfamiliar process.
A recent survey found that almost one in three firms had completed their application at the last minute or missed the deadline. Employers failing to comply with their auto-enrolment duties and missing their staging date can trigger statutory notices, fixed penalties and even court action. We would urge all employers to check their staging date and ensure they are properly prepared.