Posts Tagged ‘Pension Reform’


It’s crucial that the way that automatic enrolment interacts with existing employment contracts is fully understood. The key difference is that contractual enrolment requires a worker’s consent to be enrolled into a pension scheme, whereas automatic enrolment does not.

Join Neil Esslemont and Andy Nicholls from the regulator’s industry liaison team as they outline the different processes for contractual and automatic enrolment.

This free webinar, on Friday 22 March at 11.00am, will include the relevance of opting out and postponement to these processes, communicating membership to workers, and identifying whether an existing scheme qualifies for automatic enrolment. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

If you haven’t started your pension project – start here!

We don’t need to remind you that the biggest pension change in a generation is almost upon us. The biggest employers in the UK have to start enrolling all their employees in a pension from October.

The supermarkets are probably the biggest employers in this group. So from October there’s a good chance that the checkout lady that asks you if you want help with your packing will have automatically joined the pension scheme.

Smaller employers have a bit more time. On the fact it many will have a couple of years or so to comply. But in real terms it’s only two year ends and two pay reviews. Time soon passes.

If you haven’t worked out when you have to comply then you really need to start looking at it now. The first stage is to work out how many employees you have as that dictates when you need to comply.

There’s plenty of guidance on The Pensions Regulator’s web site. You can get to it by clicking here

The all round good eggs at the law firm DLA Piper have also published the first in a series of updates on the new pension rules. The first one is all about assessing exactly who your workforce are for the new rules. You can read the update by clicking here.

If you’re ready to start your project and you need some guidance and support 44 Financial would be delighted to help. You can contact us here to arrange an initial consultation – at our expense.

Steve Clark


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Pension reforms – a five point action plan for employers

Although many employers have heard the new radio ads publicising the new pension rules they no idea what they’ll have to do to comply. The rules change (albeit for only the largest employers) from October.

Most employers will be hit by the new rules from 2014 onwards. Don’t sit back in your chair and put this in the “far too difficult” pile as, in some cases,  this is less that 20 payroll dates.

The worrying thing is that The Pensions Regulator will police your compliance with these new duties. The Regulator can also issue substantial penalty notices to employers. If you fail to comply it could also amount to a criminal offence.

That’s enough of the doom and gloom. What can you do in a positive way to make sure The Pensions Regulator doesn’t come knocking on your door?

We’ve come up with a 5 point plan to help you survive the new rules. So – what do you need to do?

  1. Find out how your workforce will be affected – as well as your employees, you may also need to consider contractors, agency staff and non-executive directors.

  2. Find out your “staging date”  and put a big red ring round this date on the calendar. This is when the new rules will apply to you.

  3. Work out what it’s all going to cost. This means not only the extra pension contributions you’ll have to make but also the internal costs of staff time, systems upgrades etc. Don’t worry there may be ways to reduce costs. We have a few tricks up our sleeve!

  4. Make sure someone “owns” the project– it won’t go away. You’ll need someone internally or externally to co-ordinate across several areas including HR, Benefits and Payroll.

  5. Decide whether to use an existing pension plan, a new one, or the government scheme which is called NEST.

That’s probably enough to be getting on with. Please don’t wait to the last minute to look at this as you may run out of time. If it’s going to cost you money you will need to factor this into your business plan over the next three to five years. You may also need to take this into account when looking at annual pay reviews for your employees this year and next.

We’re working with all our clients to make sure that they know what they have to do, the options and ways to reduce costs. If you’d like us to help you with your Pension Survival Plan please contact us here.

Steve Clark

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New guidance on workplace pension reform

The Pensions Regulator has today published an updated version of its detailed guidance on automatic enrolment and the new employer duties under pensions reform, for large employers and their advisers.

The detailed guidance, which forms part of the regulator’s suite of educational materials for all UK employers, has been updated to reflect recent legislative changes including the Pensions Act 2011 receiving official approval via Royal Assent.

Click this link to go to the Regulator’s website for more information.