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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Pensions automatic enrolment for SMEs: The things people say

Pension Jar Of Money

My accountant will deal with it so I don't need to do anything. Right?

WRONG! The employer is personally responsible for complying with Pensions Auto Enrolment requirements and there are stiff fines for failing to do this.

If your accountant runs your payroll they will be able to advise you about the payroll deduction process and they may have the software to produce the standard letters required. However most accountants are not licensed to deal the legal requirements about pensions enrolment and selecting a pension scheme.

We’re not interested in Pensions Auto Enrolment. So my company is opting out.

WRONG! Individual employees can opt out after they’re automatically enrolled, but companies can’t.

The roll out is being phased in by size of business to be completed by 1st February 2018. The Pensions Regulator knows exactly who is employing how many people via their PAYE code. Your company will receive a letter from the Pensions Regulator giving your staging date (the go-live day for auto-enrolment in your business). There’s a long list of difficult policy decisions and complex processes that employers must implement with deadlines.

It’s a highly complex piece of legislation and already a number of larger employers have been fined for non-compliance. The legislation really does have teeth.

Presumably my company will be automatically enrolled - so we don’t need to do anything.

WRONG! You are entirely responsible as the employer and nothing will happen automatically unless you make it happen. As The Pensions Regulator advises employers on its website:

It is called automatic enrolment because it is automatic for your staff – they don't have to do anything to be enrolled into your pension scheme, but it is not automatic for you. You need to take steps to make sure your eligible staff are enrolled into a pension scheme. Even if you already pay contributions into a pension scheme for your staff, you still need to check if it is suitable for automatic enrolment.

The Human Resource will be pleased to advise businesses on pensions auto-enrolment project planning, policy decisions, changing terms of employment contracts and internal communications. We can provide you with FAQs for your employees.

More at http://www.thehr.co.uk/files/103140865.pdf
We can also support you as a one-stop-shop by referring you to our trusted partners in payroll, employee information systems and pensions.