Are You Prepared for the Pension Auto-Enrolment?

Starting this Summer, The Pensions Regulator will be writing to businesses, including yours, to make you aware of the “staging date” or the time in which you will need to auto-enrol your staff into a pension. This new change in the law means that by 2017 all UK businesses, whatever your company size, will have to enrol employees into a pension and make contributions towards it.

Your staging date depends a lot on your employer PAYE number is, however this is easy to find out by using the online tool on The Pensions Regulator website here.

It is estimated that the auto-enrolling pension scheme will take at least six months to get everything up and running, but employers are urged to look at their starting date as those businesses that fail to auto-enrol staff when they should risk being fined.

Last Autumn, the National Hairdresser’s Federation (NHF) launched a pension scheme specifically for salon owners, guaranteeing those who are members of the NHF entry. The scheme aims to help businesses within the industry set up a pension for their employees by offering free software to administer the scheme, a dedicated auto-enrolment helpline and access to financial advice from Towergate Financial, a pension provider. The scheme has since been extended to non-NHF member salons. Head to their website to find out more information.

Once you have found out your staging date, be sure to make sure the below points are completed beforehand:

  • You will have to assess your employees to ensure that they are eligible to auto-enrol as not all your staff may be
  • Assess the age and earnings of each member of your staff
  • It is important to research what yours and their minimum contribution will be
  • Have a conversation with your employees to make them aware of the auto-enrolment scheme and what this will mean for them
  • Employees can opt out if they wish and is the full decision of the employee
  • Set up alerts on your administer software for pensions to make you aware of any triggers, such as age or salary
  • Ensure you have chosen a pension scheme and pension provider