You will have heard much about workplace pensions and automatic enrolment since the law was first introduced in 2012. However, the legislation now extends to every employer with at least one member of staff.
What is automatic enrolment?
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. However, the process is not automatic for you, the business owner!
As a business owner you will 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 first step is to find out your staging date, ie. when the law comes into effect for you. Pension experts advise business owners to familiarise themselves with the requirements and assess their business as soon as possible as it can be a lengthy process, even if your staging date is some time away.
What can you do to prepare?
- Carry out a full assessment of your workforce
- Work out who to enrol
- Decide how much the business and how much your employees will contribute
- Keep records of all of the above
- Research and set up a pension scheme
Experts recommend that you should allow up to 12 months to prepare and urge you to remember that automatic enrolment is your legal duty and if you don't act you could be fined. If you already use an external payroll company make sure that you ask them whether their systems and software are geared up to deal with auto-enrolment.
Our advice: if you haven’t already started the process, act now! If you would like to speak to an expert about any of the above we can put you in touch with an HR service provider who will be able to help.