Posted by Sally Nichols on 12 Nov 2014

Employer Staging Date for Automatic Enrolment

UK law requires all employers, including small (5-49 employees) and micro (1-4 employees), to provide a workplace pension and automatically enrol eligible staff – this is automatic enrolment.

Each employer has a staging date by which they need to comply with the law. Research by the Pensions Regulator has shown that up to 40% of micro employers have guessed and got it wrong. Find yours by using the staging date tool on the regulator’s website at www.tpr.gov.uk/employers/tools/staging-date.aspx.

The first employers have been issued with Fixed Penalty Notices for not meeting their duties. As the number of employers who need to comply with the law increases, there will be more who, despite advice to prepare early, leave it too late or do not comply at all. The Pensions Regulator expects to see the number of times they need to use their powers increase. The regulator has a range of powers to tackle non-compliance including serving fixed penalty notices and escalating daily penalty notices.

HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tool

Employers are encouraged to look at their existing payroll systems and determine if they are suitable for automatic enrolment. There is a significant risk that users of HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tool (BPT) tool, could be at risk of non-compliance if they are not able to identify which workers to automatically enrol or the minimum level of contributions.

As part of the regulator’s responsibility to educate and enable employers to meet their automatic enrolment duties they will be making a tool available to assist them. This will be suitable for the very smallest employers and will allow them to know which of their employees to automatically enrol, which communications to send and how much contribution should be. The tool is expected to be available next spring ahead of the first micro employers staging in June 2015. The tool will not integrate with other software systems or HMRC’s BPT; its primary output will be tailored guidance.

The Pensions Regulator

For further advice on auto-enrolment see The Pensions Regulator or contact Tax Innovations to discuss our payroll services – contact details are shown below.

If you would like any advice regarding the above article or would simply like to discuss other ways in which we could help you or your business, please contact us on 01962 856 990 or customerservice@taxinnovations.com.