Time to act on auto-enrolment, says regulator

The Pensions Regulator has urged small and medium-sized employers to find out when their new workplace pension duties begin, following research showing that many have yet to check when auto-enrolment will affect them.

Thousands of medium-sized employers will reach their staging date – the date at which they must start automatic enrolment of eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension scheme – before August.

The Pension Regulator, which regulates UK work-based pension schemes, said those employers should now have in place a suitable pension provider and payroll software. If they had not, they needed to act now, to avoid the risk of failing to meet the compliance deadline and the possibility of enforcement action, including fines.

Research published by the regulator on 11 March revealed that while 82 per cent of small employers questioned were aware of the changes, 47 per cent still did not know when they would need to act.

Only one in four micro employers knew their staging date compared with half of small employers and four out of five medium-sized businesses.

Charles Counsell, the Pensions Regulator’s executive director of automatic enrolment, said: “Most medium employers due to automatically enrol between July and early 2015 know about the changes in the broadest sense, but many still haven’t considered exactly what they will need to do and by when.

“It really is time to act. Too many employers still think they can leave it as late as possible and don’t understand the actions they need to take.

“Around half of employers told us they will be relying on an adviser to help them meet their duties. I would urge those employers to start to investigate who can help them, when and how.”

Link: Auto-enrolment information