As a micro, small and medium business, it is likely that Auto Enrolment WILL affect you within the next couple of years.
Although your ‘Staging’ date (your date for implementation) may be some way off yet, it is advisable to start planning at least 12 months in advance. Rather typically with new legislation, there are lots of processes and different employee criteria that we, as business owners, need to get our heads around.
Before we even introduce our businesses to Auto Enrolment, there are stages that we need go through as follows: –
1. Establish your ‘Staging’ date
2. Nominate a ‘Contact’ with The Pension Regulator (TPR)
3. Know your workforce – there are three different categories your workers could fall in to and each category is treated differently
4. Check you have a qualifying scheme in place
5. Start your registration with TPR
Once you have followed the five steps above, you are then in a position to apply Auto Enrolment.
However, YOUR obligations don’t just stop there. You have ongoing responsibilities such as: –
• Pay regular contributions
• Monitor the age and earnings of all staff
• Process Opt In, Joining and Opt Out requests
• Maintain accurate records
• Re-enrol every three years
• Communicate with your employees
Do you have a headache yet?
It is becoming clear that the operation of Auto Enrolment for the micro, small and medium sized business is going to be fairly onerous to say the least and there are no signs at the moment of it becoming easier.
Not only is it going to be a potential administrative nightmare, but it is also going to cost the business additional cash in terms of the compulsory minimum employer contributions. Ultimately, that will increase your overall payroll costs by up to 3%!
Hopefully your accountants are talking to you about Auto Enrolment and you have a plan of action for implementation. However if you have not given any thought to Auto Enrolment I have produced a 10 page guide which gives further details on what your obligations are. If you would like a copy then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily send you a copy.