September 2016

The future is actually arriving very shortly

If you employ ANYBODY at all, read on.

You have probably received various communications about “Auto Enrolment” and “Staging dates” and put it on that pile which has the unofficial name “Things I know I must look at, at some point, but I don’t want to, ever, but particularly not right now.”

The bad news is you probably need to be looking at it NOW if you haven’t already. We have had quite a few people in who have missed their staging dates already. The pensions Regulator has the power to impose heavy fines if you do not comply!

“Auto Enrolment” is the term for the pension plan which employers must put in place for any qualifying employees they have, and to which they will probably have to contribute. Why couldn’t it be called “Compulsory Pension Plan”?

Your “Staging Date” is the date your automatic enrolment duties come into effect for you. So you need to be all prepared in advance of that to make sure you are ready to roll.

Here are 4 simple steps to get you started.

1 START DATE You can find your Staging Date (or start date) here.

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date.aspx

You will need your PAYE reference – that’s the one with 10 characters altogether such as 961 / KA5121A. If you don't pay your staff through a PAYE scheme, your staging date will automatically be 1 April 2017.

2 MORE INFO You can find a lot more useful information here, fairly simply explained http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/employers. If you click on the employers tab, it will take you through some easy questions to work out your duties.

3 ASSESS YOUR WORKFORCE Not everyone you employ may have to be enrolled in the pension scheme. It depends on their age and how much they earn. As a very rough guideline, if they are between 22 and State Retirement Age and earn over £10,000 per annum, they will need to be automatically enrolled into your workplace pension scheme. There are other rules for people outside of this main bracket. There is a more complete flowchart here http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/pensions-reform-assessing-workforce-appendix-a.pdf so that you can begin to assess how many people will be included.

4 You will probably want to shop around for a good pension scheme. You may need an Independent Financial Advisor for advice (it is not something we are authorised to do, so not us for pensions). If you are not aware of it, NEST is the workplace pension set up by government specifically for auto enrolment http://www.nestpensions.org.uk/schemeweb/NestWeb/public/home/contents/homepage.html but do ask your Independent Financial Advisor. If you already have a pension scheme, don’t relax because you need to ensure it is compliant for auto enrolment. We have had a couple of cases so far that weren’t.

If you find you have missed your deadline, don’t panic. Give us a call and we will see if there is anything we can do.

Wishing you an automatically good week.

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