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Friday, 15 August 2014

Friday Guest Blog - Making Automatic Enrolment Easy

By John Stirzaker - Financial Adviser, Positive Solutions

Employer duties around Auto Enrolment have been introduced in stages since October 2012, the date your duties first apply is known as your staging date and can be obtained from The Pensions Regulator.

You will need to assess your workforce to determine what kind of ‘worker’ they are. This can be done for you by an adviser, in conjunction with many of the providers in the market. Your duties will then depend on the different types of workers you employ. Some will be enroled into the scheme and others will be offered to join, you are then responsible for the ongoing communication, maintenance and record keeping.

All this can be achieved easily through the use of middleware, a piece of software that will communicate with your payroll system and staff.

Staging dates for smaller employers began in August 2014 for firms with 61 staff through to October 2015 for workforces of 30-39 staff. Fines will be levied of up to £500 per day for not having a scheme in place in time and further fines can be made for not communicating to staff in the correct way.

The right provider and adviser are essential to ensure that the implementation does not impact on your day to day business and leave you with a scheme that does have the right investment potential for you and your staff.  It also presents an excellent opportunity to re-visit the way that you reward and motivate your staff, by reviewing Group Life and Flexible Benefits options.

Positive Solutions have a fantastic proposition that includes firms such as Now:, Peoples Pensions, Standard Life and Scottish Life who have been recognised in the industry for having a fantastic investment proposition and will provide middleware at no extra cost, depending on contribution level at outset.  We have the expertise and knowledge to ensure that your business is not impacted and you are engaging your staff in the process.

Some providers need at least six months to set up the scheme for employers so TPR recommends that you begin to plan for Auto Enrolment 12 months in advance.  Late submissions to providers will either be refused, risking fines, or be charged extra e.g. £2,000 for pushing schemes through.

There are still very real concerns about “capacity crunch” so it is vital employers get the right help as soon as possible. The value of the investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back as much as you put in.

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