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Is your SME ready for automatic enrolment?

POSTED: 11th March 2013
IN: Guides
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Automatic enrolment was launched late last year to help plug a gap in pension savings so workers have more cash in their retirement pots.

undefinedSmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the country are due to comply with the new legislation over the course of its roll out.

The moment a company is expected to launch the system depends on its size, with larger firms among the first to comply with the changes.

Eventually, however, every British employer will be required to help their workers save for retirement so it is never too soon to begin thinking about the steps your firm can take to ensure it complies. 

First of all, the Pensions Regulator will notify SMEs with a unique letter code if your staging date is less than 18 months away.

The staging date is determined by the total number of people in your biggest PAYE scheme based on information from HM Revenue and Customs held by the regulator at 1st April 2012.

Businesses will then need to consider which employees are eligible for the scheme and you must notify all employees about automatic enrolment in writing.

Among the other considerations small firms need to take into account is whether or not your current scheme can be adapted for auto-enrolment or if you need to set up a new one.

SMEs are also expected to register with the Pensions Regulator within four months of your staging date, which can be done online.

It is important for small businesses to get on top of the changes as a recent poll from Jelf Employee Benefits discovered just 42 per cent of SMEs had taken steps for implementation of auto-enrolment.

Head of benefits strategy at Jelf Employee Benefits Steve Herbert said: "It's not too late but it soon could be, and organisations would be wise to remember that there is a risk of financial penalties should an employer fail to comply fully with the new regulations." 

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