Are you one of the over 1 MILLION small businesses who will need to deal with Auto Enrolment as they reach their Staging Date in 2017?
If you haven’t already received a reminder from The Pensions Regulator, you will probably do so very soon. But don’t wait for their letter. With that many businesses going through the process in such a short period, it makes sense for you to ACT NOW before the product providers reach capacity overload.
Ideally, you should aim to have your arrangements in place at least SIX months before your Staging Date, preferably longer. Many schemes will not even accept you otherwise!
There is a lot more to Auto Enrolment than you might think. It’s not just a one-off issue, and will affect your business every month and every year from now onwards.
It makes sense to seek professional help and advice before you start. Getting it wrong because you didn’t realise that that you didn’t know you had to do something, could be very costly to your business. Already several large national retailing businesses, with their own internal Pension departments, have made mistakes in their schemes for which they have been penalised.
You can however find out more direct from the Pension Regulator should you wish to start the process on your own.
The Pensions Regulator have now said that the best way to give employers “a little nudge” into doing things properly is to issue more Compliance Notices.
In Q4 of 2015 over 3,700 companies were issued with these Notices, with over 1,000 being charged the initial Fixed penalty fine. Many of these were also subjected to further Escalating fines, costing one company in excess of £25,000 in total.
Frightening stuff, but possibly the biggest fear for many smaller employers is that seeking advice will be too costly. In reality a good adviser will be looking to help you to reduce the ongoing costs of implementation of a new scheme, saving you £000’s going forward.
HR Solutions are not FCA regulated, and therefore we are unable to provide Financial Advice, but we work with Pension Partners who can help you if you have not already sourced a provider.
The key thing is to ensure that you choose an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) that will help you to avoid the hidden costs of some of the schemes currently available, some of whom are charging monthly fees of up to £100.
Auto Enrolment, it’s coming your way soon, and we are advise you to ensure that you know what you are doing in advance of your auto enrolment date to allow you to consider your options, as well as to not fall foul of any non-compliance.