Have you heard about Workplace Pensions? The adverts are back in the media. Are you aware that as a practice owner (employer) you have a legal requirement to provide a Workplace Pension scheme for all eligible staff working within your business?
Auto-enrolment is part of a Government initiative to increase private retirement savings within the UK. It is the process where all eligible employees are automatically enrolled into their employer’s qualifying pension scheme if they meet certain criteria:
- They are aged between 22 and State Pension age
- They earn more than £10,000 a year
- They work in the UK
Step one is to know your Staging Date this will then set the timetable you are working to. If it is less than 18 months away then the time to start is yesterday! Get a scheme implemented is currently taking 12-18 months and The Pensions Regulator is quick to slap you with a £400 fine if you miss your Staging Date.
There is a wide range of solutions available which doesn’t help make a confusing area less complicated. The critical areas any solution needs to provide for are a pension scheme, compliance and communication. Whilst it is a pension related matter for business the key areas are compliance and communication – good compliance will ensure you know when a team member becomes eligible keeping you on the right side of the law.
Equally communication is critical and with many schemes you as the employer is responsible to manage this manually. So get ready for lots of tasks and diary notes over the coming years to ensure you don’t miss a critical date
Whether a business or payroll department chooses to use their payroll package for compliance, they still require a qualifying workplace pension scheme and formal communications.
Also be aware there are ways to minimise the cost to your business by considering salary exchange and techniques available when new team members join by deferring the scheme during a probationary period.
It’s a confusing time for employers and cases of sharp operators coming into the market – one firm was charging £900 just to advise you of your Staging Date! It is critical that you chose a provider who you can trust – failure to do so could leave you exposed to the wrath of The Pension Regulator.
If your Staging Date is still some way off there is also the option through the Frank Taylor & Associates solution to reserve your place now in readiness for going live at a later date. Doing this now will avoid joining a queue with 1,000,000+ other businesses in 12 months time and your fee will be significantly lower.
If you choose Frank Taylor & Associates as your partner I would be delighted, if you don’t but this article has motivated you to take action then that is still a result.
Free advice and tips on where to go from here are available on 0845 612 3434.
Written by Andy Acton, director & co-owner of Frank Taylor & Associates