We have all seen the adverts for work place pensions. It normally starts with a high profile executive declaring his commitment followed by a team of grateful employees approving.
However it appears the marketing slogan should not have been “are you in” but more along the lines of “are you in time”. According to Jamie Jenkins from Standard Life only two thirds of employers have enrolled schemes in time between April and May. With a further 392,000 employers expected to enrol in the next 24 months, I fear it will not be long before The Pensions Regulator begins to take a heavy handed approach towards auto-enrolment. Pension providers have grown concerned that they are not seeing the expected amount of employers enrolling and worry that some have either buried their heads or simply do not understand their new obligation. Make no mistake whatever the case may be The Pensions Regulator will jump at the opportunity to make an example using daily fines in the thousands for none compliance.
There also seems to be a misunderstanding that Sage can “deal” with auto enrolment, while the software can assist with the administration, it cannot set up or qualify a work place pension.
Here at Nsure we have seen an increased amount of employers approach us with last minute auto-enrolment enquiries. By leaving it until last minute you limit your options available as many providers are now refusing to offer schemes to employers within months of their staging date. With the amount of firms staging each month increasing, clearly the providers have seen what lies ahead and understand the preparation needed. We encourage every employer to prepare in advance and not wait until their staging date. Our one concern is the thought of tens of thousands of employers trying to set up a scheme but being turned away or put at the back of a queue. When you consider the fines of up to £10,000 a day from The Pensions Regulator for not complying, is it worth leaving it until last minute?
We urge all employers to take an active approach towards their new obligation and plan ahead. If your staging date is approaching or you wish to get a better understanding of auto-enrolment, contact our specialist corporate adviser Ben Allen on 01903 821010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org