Bury head in sandAnybody who attended the Swindon Expo at the Steam Museum in June may have come across our stand with our new banner asking "Are you burying your head in the sand about Auto Enrolment?". Visitors were keen to play our "bury your head in the sand" game with the winner being offered a choice of prizes which included having their auto enrollment scheme set up for them.

Most employers will know by now that setting up a pension scheme for your employees is a necessity.  There will be very few employers who will not be required to choose and set up a scheme and then enroll their eligible employees into it.  There will be some employers who have employees who are not eligible to join a scheme and therefore they may not need one, or the company may just have a director or two who will have decided not to have a scheme.  In either of these situations the employer must not ignore their Staging Date but must inform The Pension Regulator in order to avoid a fine.

Every week we are setting up new pension schemes but still employers are leaving it to the last minute or have already missed their Staging Date.  It is not something you can avoid and if you don't want to do it yourself outsource it to someone like ourselves who will sort it all out for you.  Setting up the Scheme can be complex, especially if you choose NEST, as you will need to make a choice between a gross or net pension deduction. Choosing the wrong one could significantly affect your employees' contributions so you need to understand what is the best option for your employees as a whole. 

Making the correct deductions from your payroll is vital too.  Not everyone will be eligible to be part of your pension scheme initially but some may become eligible when they turn 22 or when their pay increases.  It is important to monitor this as newly eligible employees must be auto enrolled or if their earnings are below the auto enrolment threshold they may need to be told they can join if they wish.  Written communication with each of your employees is a requirement of Pension Auto Enrolment.  

We have recently sorted out the pension scheme for a company which had been set up incorrectly. Some employees had been wrongly enrolled in it and others who should have been enrolled hadn't been.  We sorted out the payroll too as deductions had been made inconsistently.  It took a lot of work to get it right and it made us realise how easy it is to get it wrong if you don't understand what you are doing.  

Payroll is already a complex task for many business owners.  Adding in pension deductions for only relevant employees at the appropriate rate with the same tax treatment as requested at pension scheme set up means you really have to have your wits about you when running the payroll.  Ensuring you communicate with your employees in writing at the required time means having a timetable in place.  The Pension Regulator website does have templates for these communications but you still have to remember to do them at the right time.

We have recently had a couple of new clients who had already had their pension scheme set up for them before they came to us.  They told us it was a painful experience!   We don't want anyone to have a painful experience.  Auto enrolment is something that has to be done but we make it completely pain free.

Karen ReynoldsSo don't bury your head in the sand.  Contact us now to get your auto enrolment sorted out.  You don't need to wait until your Staging Date as the scheme can be set up and lay dormant until then, unless you choose to start it early.  And if you would like help with your payroll we can do that too.

Contact Karen on 01722 341820 to see how we can help you.