Automatic Enrolment began back in October 2012, and was introduced so all employers, even if they have only one member of staff, had to offer a workplace pension to employees.
Each employer would have received correspondence from The Pensions Regulator containing their Staging Date, being the date by which the employer must have an Automatic Enrolment compliant scheme in place and must have ‘assessed’ its workforce. This started with larger employers but in 2017, smaller businesses are having to take action.
The employer has a duty in respect of their employees during the Automatic Enrolment process, and need to make sure that the employees understand about the Workplace Pension - Will they be enrolled or not? How much will they and their employer be paying into it?
Moving into 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions will be conducting their review of how the Automatic Enrolment process has gone so far, requesting feedback on the overall process from current employers and employees, discussing the issues around contribution rates and thresholds, and considering how to widen the Workplace Pension scope.
Over 7 million people have been automatically enrolled into workplace pensions since the scheme was introduced in 2012 and the Government hopes that by 2018 this figure will surpass 10 million.
So what can Employers do?
Employers need to comply with their Automatic Enrolment duties by checking what their staging date is with The Pensions Regulator, and ensuring a compliant pension scheme is setup by this date and ensuring they have informed their employees.
If employers do not take appropriate action then The Pensions Regulator will issue penalties and take legal action against businesses. Therefore it is strongly advised that employers prepare for their Automatic Enrolment duties in advance of their staging date to avoid compliance notices being issued and making sure employees are not missing out on contributions that they are legally entitled too.
If you require assistance with your Automatic Enrolment duties then please contact us.