Auto Enrolment in 2016?
We’ve all seen the Workplace Pensions adverts on TV, with lots of cheerful people happily declaring ‘We’re In’, but do you know when you as an Employer need to be ‘In’? If you don’t know the date at which auto enrolment (AE) duties are going to be mandatory for your business then you can find out your staging date via the Pensions Regulator website.
Compliance with auto enrolment will mean several additional responsibilities and processes, including:
- Initial and ongoing assessment of all staff to determine whether they are Eligible Jobholders, Non-Eligible Jobholders or Entitled Workers.
- Ensuring mandatory auto enrolment correspondence is provided to all staff advising them of how auto-enrolment impacts on them.
- Enrolling all Eligible Jobholders into a qualifying pension scheme.
- Processing any ‘Opt-Ins’ for employees who do not qualify to be auto-enrolled but who choose to join the scheme, and any ‘Opt-Outs’ for employees who have been auto-enrolled and do not want to be part of the scheme.
- Notifying your chosen Pension Provider of all relevant payroll data each pay period.
- Paying the Contributions due to your Pension Provider.
The Good News
None of the above needs to be as terrifying as it may sound at first! Taking the initial time to get the right processes in place at the beginning will really pay off in the long run:
TIP #1 – Lots of Pension Providers have the ability to undertake the assessment and correspondence obligations on your behalf, so when choosing a Provider make sure you know how many of your auto enrolment responsibilities they will help you with.
TIP #2 – Ask to see copies of the upload templates that Providers will want you to use each pay period and find out what format any information will come back to you in. Assurances that ‘you just upload this and download that’ are sometimes not that straightforward in reality so make sure you understand the practicalities of supplying them with the information they will need.
TIP #3 – Don’t bury your head in the sand in the hope that it will all go away! The fines for non-compliance with auto enrolment are hefty, so it is definitely worth your while being pro-active about getting everything in place.
TIP #4 – Call us! If just the thought of auto-enrolment sends you into a panic then get in touch, we can help by talking you through the steps that you need to be taking or simply taking the whole thing off your hands altogether.