Auto-enrolment enquiries from small businesses set to increase
The Pensions Regulator is warning accountants in practice to expect an increasing number of enquiries from small and micro-employers, as auto-enrolment staging dates move closer.
All small and micro-businesses will receive letters from The Pensions Regulator in the coming months as part of a new campaign to give them key information on automatic enrolment, including when the duties apply to them.
The decision by The Pensions Regulator to write to more than 1.5 million addresses across the UK from the end of January aims to ensure that by the summer all employers know their 'staging date', which is the date when the law comes into effect for them.
The message to advisers is clear: be prepared for clients to approach you about auto-enrolment. You can find out your clients' staging dates on The Pensions Regulator website.
Automatic enrolment is not optional: don't let your clients leave it too late
Figures recently published by The Pensions Regulator show an increase in the number of fines issued to employers who did not comply with their workplace pensions duties on time. With more than 1,300 compliance notices and over 165 fixed penalty notices issued by the end of 2014, more employers are regretting not allowing enough time to prepare for their automatic enrolment duties.
There are underlying reasons for the increase in the use of enforcement powers. First, there is an increase in the total number of employers who have reached their staging date, and second, the behaviour of smaller employers is different. There are more who, despite the messages to prepare early, leave it too late.
Find out more about creating an action plan based on a client's specific staging date to identify what needs to be done, and by when.