Don’t forget auto-enrolment, regulator tells SMEs » SMEInsider

Don’t forget auto-enrolment, regulator tells SMEs

The Pension Regulator has written to 1.5m small, micro and medium-sized businesses to remind them to get their plan in place for new pension rules.

Over the next three years, UK companies will have to make sure that all employees are automatically enrolled in pension plans. But, despite a positive reception to the scheme from most businesses, a “significant number” of smaller companies do not know when their staging dates are for complying to the new rules.

Staging dates vary from company to company, and the Pensions Regulator says that it contacts all companies 12 months before their due date to let them know what is expected of them. Despite this, recent research suggests that many companies are not up to date, and could be caught out if they fail to meet pension requirements in time.

In a statement last week, auto-enrolment chief Charles Counsell warned that these new rules will affect “every employer” and that they need to make sure they’ve started preparing for the change in a “timely” manner.

The roll out of automatic enrolment has so far been a success and this letter will ensure that by the summer all small and micros are clear about when their duties begin, enabling them to plan ahead,” he said.

Research conducted in the summer found that most employers felt the administrative burden of the new rules to be manageable, although the smallest companies were unsurprisingly more concerned about meeting their financial obligations. 80% of SMEs said that automatic enrolment was a “good idea” for their employees, compared to 86% of small companies and three-quarters of micro ones.