Navigating the maze of pension auto-enrolment – a local solution
The new pension auto-enrolment legislation is now a reality for many businesses in Northern Ireland, with hundreds of firms reaching their staging dates every month.
Under the auto-enrolment legislation, every business must enrol all eligible jobholders into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and pay contributions on their behalf. Eligible jobholders are all employees aged over 22 years old, under state pension age, earning over £10,000 per annum and working in the UK.
The process can be complex so it is important that companies are fully aware of their responsibilities and seek support to ensure that implementation is as smooth as possible.
When will it affect your business?
The legislation is being phased in over a five year period, starting with the largest employers first and including all businesses by 2017. In July 2014, all businesses with more than 62 employees will have had to comply. Many larger manufacturing businesses will already have completed the auto-enrolment process whilst others have staging dates through to the end of 2015 and beyond. All employers will receive notification from the Pensions Regulator 12 months in advance of the date by which they need to comply.
What do businesses need to do?
The legislation requires every business to automatically enrol eligible employees into a qualifying workplace pension scheme and to pay contributions on their behalf (individual employees can opt out if they wish).
Contrary to what the “auto-enrolment” name suggests, the process is by no means automatic. In order to comply with their legal obligations, every business must decide on a pension provider, put a qualifying scheme in place, assess their workforce to see who must be automatically enrolled, communicate with all employees and have a mechanism in place to make the appropriate deductions from wages.
The first step would be to find out your staging date and you can do that by visiting http://goo.gl/Gbm3c. Companies should seek advice in good time and begin planning for the process around six months before their staging date as this is the finish date and not the start!
Making auto-enrolment easier
The whole auto-enrolment process can seem daunting to even the most organised businesses. The key to successfully implementing the process is to start early. With the proper planning, support and guidance it can be much simpler and more manageable.
When choosing an appropriate auto-enrolment scheme business owners should look at the provider’s experience of running similar schemes; the guidance and support offered, including how the message will be communicated to employees; the mechanics of how the scheme will be operated and flexibility in terms of contribution levels. Choosing the right pension provider can help ease the burden and make the process much less daunting.
Workers Pension Trust (WPT) is a local not-for-profit organisation available to all businesses across the UK. WPT’s pension scheme is suitable for all employees and is based on more than 30 years’ experience delivering multi-employer pension schemes
Contact Workers Pension Trust
Workers Pension Trust offers a Free auto-enrolment support programme for firms using their scheme. For more information, please visit www.workerspensiontrust.co.uk or contact Iain Ferguson on 028 9087 7142 or email@example.com
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It’s now time for smaller firms to wake-up to auto-enrolment
13 October 2014...
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