Deadlines are looming for all employers to have complied with Auto Enrolment legislation. Have you got your ducks in a row?
For a lot of small businesses, the prospect of complying is a daunting one. As one of my clients plaintively put it, it’s as if “the whole ruddy thing has been deliberately designed to drive me round the bend”.
I honestly don’t think that is HMRC’s intention; it’s just that as with so many new things, the AE process can appear a lot more complicated than it really is. Luckily, help is at hand to help break it down and suggest ways of planning so that you don’t get caught out with your ducks having flown south.
Over my next few blog posts I’ll decipher some of the Government Speak on AE into plain English, giving you clarity on what you need to do when, and why; so that you can round up those pesky ducks into the same pond, and obediently into a row.
So what is Auto Enrolment (AE) and why should I care?
If AE is still as clear as pond-water to you, let’s translate: AE is legislation relating to workplace pensions, which has been brought in to help as many people as possible save for their own retirement in addition to the state pension. It requires all UK employers to automatically enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme and to make employer contributions to that pension. Even if you have an existing pension arrangement you need to check it ticks all the new boxes, and ensure the changes have been communicated to your employees.
Larger employers have already had to comply, so have many smaller business, and the final set of deadlines are fast approaching with peaks in July and November 2017, so you need to make yourself aware quickly of your obligations and how to tackle them.
It really is a good idea to start planning today to avoid any last-minute fluster. Employers failing to comply risk fines of between £500 and £5,000 per day so it’s worth a few minutes’ thought!
Over the coming few blogs I’ll break the AE process down into bitesize chunks, addressing a few of the aspects you will need to consider to make sure you have every box ticked:
- Know your staging date and develop a plan – what is my deadline and how do I reach it?
- Assess your workforce – which of my employees are eligible?
- Review your pension arrangements – does my current scheme qualify?
- Communicate the changes to all your employees – how does the government require me to do this?
- Auto-enrol your eligible job holders, register with The Pensions Regulator and keep records – what exactly is involved in this?
- Contribute to your employees' pensions – how do I keep on top of this long-term?
And if you have any questions, or want to speak to Cashtrak about award-winning professional support on Auto Enrolment, do get in touch with us.
We’ll get those ducks lined up before you can say ‘quack’.