For employers with between 50 and 249 employees auto-enrolment of employees into a pension scheme starts 1 April 2014. Smaller employers, under 50 employees, will need auto-enrol on a staged basis between 1 June 2015 and 1 April 2017.
Employers who are still unclear what their responsibilities are under this new regulation should take a look at the Pensions Regulator website:
The key points listed on the site are:
- Automatic enrolment affects all employers with staff in the UK.
- You must enrol certain staff into a pension scheme.
- You must start doing this from your staging date, though there is an option to postpone automatic enrolment for up to three months.
- You must write to all your staff to tell them how they’ve been affected.
The regulator further advises:
“People are living longer yet too many people are under-saving or not saving at all for what could be a long retirement. The law on workplace pensions has changed to make it easier for millions more people to build up a pension, particularly those on lower incomes.
Automatic enrolment means that, rather than having to actively choose to join a pension scheme, staff are put into one by their employer as a matter of course. If they don’t want to be in the pension scheme, they must actively choose to opt out. It’s to encourage people to stay in pension saving.”
This is a further raft of regulation that all employers must comply with. Whenever possible automate the compliance processes by using payroll or HR software that includes the new pensions' auto-enrol steps.