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Employers struggle to achieve 2014 auto-enrolment

Employers struggle to achieve 2014 auto-enrolment

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Less than 1 in 4 employers staging for auto-enrolment in the first half of 2014 have confirmed their provider and completed everything necessary to be ready to comply. This is according to a report issued by NEST the pension scheme of last resort for auto enrolment.

An article in Pension Expert magazine helps to underline the logistics of what UK employers are facing. This year over 25,000 employers are expected to reach their staging date. If you click here you can read the article. That’s the date upon which you have to comply with the new rules.

Although you can postpone your staging date for up to three months it still means that you have to have everything in place ready to go by the earlier staging date.

As if this wasn’t bad enough news the pensions industry is already hinting that from advisers through to providers it will be very challenging to support all these employers.

Ostrich in sand zolierdosThis is something that we can echo in our own business. We are currently running six projects for clients who stage this year and are about to take on another two. If there’s any advice that we can give employers it is – don’t sit on the letter from The Pension Regulator telling you when you need to comply. This isn’t something that you can easily do yourself in a month or so. We had a call last week from an employer who has to comply from 1 February who hadn’t done anything about auto-enrolment. Reluctantly we had to turn the employer away as there was no way we could get everything in place in such a short time without jeopardising the service our existing clients receive.

Our experience, which is backed by the views of The Pensions Regulator, is that ideally you would have between a year and eighteen months to complete the project. The last thing you want to be doing is having to make decisions under tiCan of Wormsme pressure.

The Pensions Regulator knows – from your PAYE records with the tax man – when you have to comply. They will write to you about a year to eighteen months before your date. They know that within four months of that date you must go on-line on their website and complete the registration of your auto-enrolment scheme. They will start to write to you about that nearer the time. If you do nothing or are late The Pensions Regulator will know. They have the power to fine you. If you click here you can read more about how The Pensions Regulator will deal with non-compliance.

All is not lost though

As long as you have a reasonable time left we can still help. We offer a fully managed project that will make sure that you are fully compliant that deals with provider selection, assessment processes and software, communications, registration and governance.

Alternatively, we are working with some smaller employers on a more light touch basis where we effectively coach them on delivering their own project. At a time when money is tight form many employers this can be a good way of getting some advice to help you comply.

If you want to kick start your auto-enrolment project and get moving call us on 01163 800 133.

Steve Clark

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