The Pensions Regulator is calling on small businesses to act on new staff pension rules or risk hefty fines.
More than half a million UK employers with fewer than 30 employees will be required to enrol eligible staff into a pension – and start paying into it – this year. All employers have been given an automatic enrolment date, by which they must make sure workers are signed up.
But many SMEs won’t give themselves enough time and as a result, could be subject to penalties, the regulator warned. These include fixed penalties of £400, daily fines of £50 to £500, and even prosecution.
Micro employers at risk
Reports suggest that even people who employ one person, such as parents who hire a nanny, would be subject to punitive action.
Executive director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said: “We are concerned that a minority of smaller employers are leaving things too late and struggling to comply on time. We are helping employers avoid this by alerting them in good time to their duties and giving them the tools they need to meet them.
“Employers should start planning 12 months before their duties start and make our website their first port of call.”
Not all employers have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme, but they will still have duties to tell staff about automatic enrolment and complete a declaration of compliance.
The Pensions Regulator has an online tool to guide SMEs through the process here.