autonerolement, pensions information

7 important facts that you should know about Auto Enrolment – Your plan

autonerolement, pensions information

Your plan for enrolling staff into a workplace pension

This is the second of two blogs on auto-enrolment, the new requirement for employers to put their staff into a workplace pension. The first article covered the key steps of finding out the date form which you have to comply (“staging date”), identifying eligible staff and drawing up an implementation plan. This blog explains more about what your implementation plan should cover.

 

Your plan should include:

  • Communicating with staff – you should start raising awareness at least a year before your staging date. You are required to write to staff to tell them about the changes. Your accountant or payroll bureau should be able to provide template letters to help you, or you can use those available from The Pensions Regulator website. You will need to have a rolling plan of communications.
  • Assessing the cost – the minimum contribution applies to earnings between the NIC earnings limits of £5,824 (lower) and £42,385 (upper). Current contribution levels are just 1% for each of the employee and the employer, but this rises to 5% and 3% respectively from 2018. There will be costs of compliance as well – the requirements are quite onerous and you will need new processes or to get more help form your accountant or payroll bureau.
  • Identifying a compliant pension scheme – we recommend using just one scheme per payroll, to keep administration simple. The Pensions Regulator website has a simple guide to selecting a scheme and the ABI (Association of British Insurers) website has a short list of its members offering qualifying schemes. The government has set up NEST to be a low-cost option.
  • Planning for the change – you will need to update staff contracts, establish new processes and your payrolls will take longer to run. Identify who is in charge and consider the need for extra help. Check that your payroll software will cope and can provide a file in the correct format for your pension provider. Consider starting early for some employees (such as directors). Allow good time for testing systems and processes.
  • Enrolling your staff – you must enroll staff including those who opt in voluntarily.
  • Liaising with The Pensions Regulator – you need to provide a key contact and to make a declaration of compliance within four months of your staging date.
  • Ongoing responsibilities – these are significant and include identifying, communicating with and processing changes for new eligible employees and for those who opt out, and running a three-yearly re-enrolment cycle. You must be able to demonstrate that your processes are robust.

 

As with all change, success will be determined by the quality of your planning and the advice you receive. Your accountant or payroll provider may already have contacted you but if they haven’t, we suggest giving them a call and starting to work on your plan for a smooth roll-out.

If you are concerned about your business and its implementation of auto enrolement, please call us, our aim is to make the whole process simple, easy and cost effective for you. For more information contact hello@approachableaccountants.co.uk or call Lydia on 07880 602226

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