Pensions auto-enrolment: early autumn update
Christine Scott summarises the latest updates on auto-enrolment from The Pensions Regulator.
Do you have clients who staged this summer? The first wave of small and micro-employers (businesses with less than four staff members) saw their pensions' duties start in June 2015.
Thousands of employers who staged this summer should complete a declaration of compliance with The Pensions Regulator. This must be done within five months of their staging date - or else they will be fined.
However, research from The Pensions Regulator indicates that more than half of micro-employers who are due to stage in 2016 haven't started making plans for auto-enrolment yet. Most of these employers indicate to the Regulator that they will consult business advisers for help.
Want to avoid a last-minute rush? Check-in with clients
Make sure your clients do not risk incurring fines. It's worth checking that they have plans to complete their declaration in good time.
It's likely some of your clients will be very late in their preparations when they first get in touch with you. It makes sense to contact your business's clients and find out exactly when their duties start.
No staff to enrol? Tips for clients
Even if none of your client's staff are eligible for automatic enrolment, individuals can still ask to join a pension scheme. A scheme only needs to be put in place if and when staff ask to join one. If the member of staff's circumstances change, they may also become eligible for automatic enrolment.
Your client should write to their staff and keep them informed on what's happening. They should also complete a declaration of compliance.
More details are available in the FAQ on The Pensions Regulator's website. It details processes if there are no members of staff to be automatically enrolled.
Ongoing requirements: re-enrolment
Once employers have implemented automatic enrolment, they will have ongoing duties after the initial communication. This includes re-enrolment which must be carried out every three years. If staff are not already active members of a pension scheme your client must re-enrol them into an automatic enrolment pension scheme.