Remember auto-enrolment deadlines for November
Christine Scott’s briefing on the latest auto-enrolment resources and tips from The Pensions Regulator.
As the season turns and we hunker down for the winter, summer obligations regarding workplace pensions linger in the autumn air. The Pensions Regulator message is clear: if your clients staged this summer, automatic enrolment obligations loom as deadlines approach. Company obligations can’t be ignored.
The first wave of declarations due
The regulator tells us that nearly 100,000 small and micro employers (businesses with less than four staff members) are approaching the date their automatic enrolment duties come into effect. This marks the first large wave of small and micro employers who need to get plans in place in enough time for their staging date.
Thousands of employers who staged this summer need to complete a declaration of compliance with The Pensions Regulator. This is a legal obligation and it must be done within five months of the staging date - or else your client could be penalised.
The majority of these employers will approach their business advisers for help and support so it’s good to be prepared.
For more information, read The Pensions Regulator’s automatic enrolment guide for business advisers.
Automatic enrolment: your clients’ ongoing duties
Did your client’s automatic enrolment duties start in June? Their declaration of compliance needs to be completed for The Pensions Regulator by the start of November.
This declaration specifies how a business has complied with their duties. It must be completed within five months of their staging date. After submitting this to the Regulator, a business is required to keep ongoing records of what they have done. This includes: monitoring the ages and earnings of staff to check their eligibility in each pay period; enrolling and writing to staff as they become eligible and paying pensions contributions for them.
Read The Pensions Regulator’s guidance on your clients’ continuous duties.
Choosing a pension scheme? Considerations
If your client has staff to set up with automatic enrolment, the business will need a pension scheme. They can either choose a new scheme or check that their existing scheme meets certain criteria.
It’s vital that your client finds a scheme that will work with their payroll process or financial software of choice. The Regulator recommends that employers leave plenty of time to make the right choice. When you are contacted by an employer looking for help with choosing a pension scheme for automatic enrolment, you can either provide them with information yourself or refer them to another adviser.
Read more information about the CA’s role in helping clients choose a pension scheme.
Pictured above - DWP has unveiled 'Workie' as its mascot for workplace pensions.