YOU will no doubt already be aware that auto-enrolment started in October 2012 with the largest employers and will roll out progressively until 2018 for all employers.
Auto-enrolment has been introduced to address the problem that, as a nation, we are not saving enough for retirement. In addition to this, life expectancy has drastically increased meaning that many of us will spend far longer in retirement than was the case 30 years ago.
Auto-enrolment is not a new or radical policy. Across the developed world legislation has been introduced to make pension savings a compulsion for the work force. When Australia introduced it some 20 years ago it increased the amount of people saving for retirement, boosting savers from 40 per cent to 80 per cent.
A reminder that, in short, auto-enrolment means:
That all UK employers will have to auto-enrol all workers that meet certain criteria into a qualifying pension scheme
There are minimum requirements for contributions, which are being phased in between 2012 and 2018
Employers must comply with new requirements around the disclosure of information to prospective members and operate a
paperless joining process
The Regulator can impose statutory fines ranging from a fixed penalty of £400 to daily fines of up to £10,000
So why the big flap now to plan early?
Well firstly, awareness among employers is still worrying low according to recent research carried out by The Pensions
Too many employers are still not aware of the additional responsibilities the legislation places on them along with increased financial burden and administration.
Secondly, it is not known if there will be sufficient pension schemes available to meet the increased demand. It was estimated that 30,000 businesses will need a pension scheme and auto-enrolment services this year and this is expected to rise to 46,000 next year and to over 500,000 in 2016.
The increased demand has lengthened the lead times in getting schemes set up so this is something that also needs to be considered. Also, with it being a consumer demand led industry it is likely that costs will increase the longer you leave it.
If you want to find out how Haines Watts can help take the stress out of getting prepared for auto-enrolment then contact
Michelle Cousins, Regional Payroll Manager on 01536 483513 (Kettering office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org