You may think that you have done all your need to once you have reached your Staging Date for Auto Enrolment. You have set up your pension scheme and sent out communications to your employees. You have auto enrolled your workers and deducted contributions from their pay. You have even remembered to do your Declaration of Compliance. So what else is there to do?
Auto enrolment is an ongoing process and you must continue to comply with the rules set out by The Pension Regulator.
You need to assess your employees every time you process your payroll to ensure all those who should be in the scheme have been enrolled. You must remember to provide your new employees with a letter setting out the details of your pension scheme within 6 weeks of their start date if you want to postpone them for up to 3 months. If you don't do this within the timescale set out by The Pension Regulator you cannot postpone them and they must be included in your pension scheme from the start date of their employment. Then, once the 3 months postponement period is up, you need to remember to enrol them, if they are eligible, into the scheme. Remember, though, that 3 months postponement is not 3 months plus however long it may be until your next pay period after their start date. Three months postponement means up to 3 months.
The ongoing process includes ensuring you are making the correct deductions from their pay either before or after tax depending on how your pension scheme is set up. You need to be aware what elements of pay should be included when calculating the deductions as expenses would not have deductions but a car allowance, for example, would. It includes providing your pension scheme with details of these deductions and ensuring what you are submitting to them agrees with what has been deducted from your employees and your own employer contribution. Then of course you must pay the pension contributions. This is probably the easiest part as it will be taken by direct debit but with NEST you do have to remember to authorise the payment each time.
Finally don't forget that 3 years from your Staging Date you need to auto-enrol all eligible employees who have opted out of the scheme and provide your employees with written communication about this re-enrolment process.
Auto enrolment has not been as simple and straightforward for small businesses as the Government likes to make out. It can be a burdensome process if you have several employees and even more so if you have a period of leavers and starters because it can feel like you are forever doing letters and ensuring they are put in or taken out of postponement.
That is why we have an auto enrolment administration service for our payroll clients and for other businesses who do their own payroll but just want that burden of dealing with the processes and timescales eased. From as little as £10 per month you can get peace of mind and ensure you are complying with The Pension Regulator.
Find out more from Karen Reynolds on 01722 341820 to see how we can give you peace of mind with your auto enrolment compliance.