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Employ 60-250 staff? The 12 month clock is now ticking....

  • By Richard Ellis
  • 20 Sep, 2013

UK companies that employ between 60 and 250 staff now have only 6 to 12 months preparation ahead of their staging date. If you are a UK employer that falls into this category you would have had a twelve-month reminder letter from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and you should be well underway in planning towards Auto Enrolment.

UK companies that employ between 60 and 250 staff now have only 6 to 12 months preparation ahead of their staging date. If you are a UK employer that falls into this category you would have had a twelve-month reminder letter from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and you should be well underway in planning towards   Auto Enrolment .

Part of these plans would involve reviewing any current company pension scheme and assessing this scheme against the new requirements to identify any changes that may be needed. If you don't have a pension scheme you will of course need to set one up.

You will also need to assess your workforce to determine which categories your workers fall into under the new pensions legislation and the employer duties that apply to each category.

You will also have had to consider the impact of the costs of   Auto Enrolment   on your cash flow and 2014 budget in terms of the minimum statutory contributions, costs for any associated advice and work carried out to cleanse payroll data and review internal processes.

It is very likely that you would also have considered using Salary Exchange and how this would fit into the   Auto Enrolment   scheme design. At this point you will also have considered a communication strategy to your workforce and whether or not contracts of employment will need to be reviewed. The implementation of these changes and the engagement of your workforce is likely to happen at least six months from your staging date.

In reality we are increasingly speaking with companies that are not yet suitably informed about the changes to their duties to employees and the impact to the business in terms of costs and the work required to comply. This is extremely worrying considering the consequences of getting this wrong. The Pension Regulator (TPR) has already launched 89 investigations into possible non-compliance where employers have struggled with their new duties. Worryingly these 89 cases involved some of the largest companies in the UK which have large management teams, payroll and HR departments. Small and medium sized businesses that do not have these kind of resources will need to be diligent and ensure that they are appropriately informed and advised in order to avoid compliance breaches and in some cases fines.

At Fraser Heath we are currently working with our existing corporate clients to ensure that they meet their regulatory obligations well in advance of their staging date. We have also been approached by professional connections to provide informative seminars to their corporate clients.

The main priority is to ensure that companies act well in advance to avoid capacity issues that will restrict choice and ultimately could mean that business owners are left to deliver an   Auto Enrolment solution   themselves.

If you run a business and you fall within this twelve-month preparation window, my advice would be to ensure you are fully informed and have a workable plan to ensure you comply in advance of your staging date. If you do not have either these things and you would like to understand how Fraser Heath can help   please get in touch .

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