In the next few months, we are producing an article series to help employers prepare for the Automatic Enrolment process. This first edition is a quick reminder of what it’s all about. Edit: Since writing this article BII has made the following announcement to its members “The Pensions Regulator recently announced that it has issued a large proportion of penalty notices to employers within the food and drink sector. This is a sector which typically employs a large number of temporary workers, and where non-standard contracts are prevalent, which in part explains the high levels of non-compliance. You need to make sure you are aware of how automatic enrolment applies to you, what you need to do to meet your duties and by when.”

What is Automatic Enrolment?

Automatic enrolment is a Government initiative to help more people save for later in life, through a pension scheme at work. Most UK employers will be obliged to put in place a qualifying workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol their qualifying workers. Employers then have to make contributions to their workers’ pensions every pay period.

How to join the employer’s workplace pension scheme?

Automatic enrolment is being rolled out in stages for all employers. It will start with the larger employers first, but all existing employers will be required to comply October 2018. The employer should contact the employee with the options that are available to them. However, not all workers will automatically join the workplace pension scheme. Eligibility depends on the different criteria for one of four categories – eligible jobholder, non-eligible jobholder, entitled worker, or anyone not falling into the previous 3 categories.

Check your duties:

It’s important that you understand what to do and by when, as this will depend on your circumstances and those of your staff. To help you work out what to do, when you need to do it, and to make sure that you only complete the tasks relevant to you, the following link has been provided. http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/employers/duties-checker.aspx

Find out your staging date:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date.aspx

Declaration:

Declaration of compliance is an online form that must be completed to let The Pensions Regulator know how employers have met their legal duties for automatic enrolment. If you are an employer (or someone acting on behalf of an employer) you can use this online form to complete a declaration and non-declaration of compliance. https://www.autoenrol.tpr.gov.uk/  

Different Schemes:

The three Main Pension schemes Melrose works with are: Nest Pensions Now Pensions The People’s Pension*  

Legal duties and Noncompliance:

The employer is responsible for meeting the legal duties for automatic enrolment. If not complied with employers face enforcement action, including compliance notices and penalty notices (fines).  

What’s next?

Next issue in this series, we will be going into further detail on staging dates.