U-Turn on Planet Pensions

What a week its already been on planet pensions  And it’s still only Tuesday!

Yesterday in our blog post on the new pension rules we first got some idea that the government was going to delay the introduction for some employers. U Turn sign Flickr mag3737By the afternoon the Pensions Minister Steve Webb had confirmed the rumours. Smaller employers are, after all, going to be given a bit of breathing space.

Now this is the same Steve Webb that told a conference almost a month ago to the day that there was no intention of postponing the introduction of the changes. It probably goes to show how little we can read into what politicians say!

So where does this leave us. It all depends on size and whether you are a small or large employer. Size is subjective and we all know that one man’s large is another woman’s small.

As it stands here is what we know from the announcement from the Department for Work & Pensions.

If you employ less than 50 employees

You’ll also get some breathing space. We know that you’ll be given until after May 2015Clock Flickr Dee'lite Medium to comply. This is after the end of this Parliament. We’ll have to wait and see what happens at the next election. However, the government has stated that all firms will have to comply at some point.

If you employ between 50 and 2,999 employees

You’ll get some breathing space. Your staging date will change but we don’t know by how much yet. The DWP will issue more guidance in January 2012.

If you employ more than 3,000 employees

You are unaffected by yesterday’s U-Turn. Your staging date is still the same. The very largest employers have to start complying from October 2012.

What does it all mean for me?

Our research indicates that the majority of companies with less than 50 employees don’t even know yet about these new pension rules.

There’s evidence that more employers in the 50 to 3,000  know about the changes but only a small proportion have started any serious planning.

Clearly, if you are one of these employers you’ll benefit from the delay. What you shouldn’t do is simply stick your head in the sand hoping the whole thing will go away. It won’t.

The delay will allow you to start looking at the cost of compliance and what impact it’ll have on your  business income. You’ll also have a chance to look at what you already have in place. It’ll give you time to work out what you have to do.

All is not lost!

Don’t worry if you haven’t had a look at the new rules and how it’ll affect you.

We’re talking to a growing number of employers who are taking this opportunity to look at whether they are employing the right adviser to see them through this minefield.

If you’d like to arrange an initial meeting to find out more about our active benefits service please email us here.

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