The staging date for auto-enrolment is now, April 2015, for companies with fewer than 53 employees.
If this is you, you will have gone through the processes of selecting your pension provider, segregating your staff, informing them of the rights and options. Once completed you will be in the same position as many of the larger UK employers who started this process back in October 2012. To date, over 5 million employees have been automatically enrolled, alongside a further 9million who were already part of a qualifying workplace pension scheme at the employers staging date. It is important to note that this process is set to continue, whoever wins the next general election.
One of the myths that remains’ is that the staging date is set by reference to the current workforce numbers, when it is actually set by the number of employers on the PAYE scheme. This misunderstanding has led some employers to assume their staging date is some time after the actual date. From June 2015 if you have fewer than 30 employers you will need to know your PAYE scheme size and PAYE reference to find out your deadline. It is easy to check when your staging date is using the staging date tool on The Pensions Regulator (TPR) website.
TPR will be writing to an excess of one million small businesses over the next few months. The letter carries two messages:
TPR is there to help; they want you to get it right. There are heavy fines for companies who ignore their responsibilities. At the end of January 2015, they issued 166 businesses with fixed penalties of £400 for non-compliance.
For further information on auto-enrolment, please contact Lucy Blackburn on 01924 311601