Employers need to act on auto-enrolment now, says DWP

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has highlighted the second anniversary of auto-enrolment by telling employers “This is no time to rest”.

The first of the UK’s largest employers began meeting new workplace pension duties on 1 October 2012, as part of the government’s automatic enrolment programme. The initiative involves automatically enrolling eligible workers into a qualifying workplace pension.

Since then, around 4.5 million workers have been automatically enrolled and nearly 28,000 businesses have so far met their new legal duties. Research by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) suggests that around nine million people will eventually be saving for the first time or saving more thanks to automatic enrolment.

But speaking earlier this year, the Pensions Regulator’s executive director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell warned: “The first two years of automatic enrolment have been a great success with many thousands of employers helping to change the way we as a nation save for retirement, but this is no time to rest.

“Small employers whose duties are on the horizon must make sure they know what they will need to do and when. We will provide employers with the information they need to comply but it comes with a warning: act now, be prepared or risk a financial penalty.”

The regulator is currently writing to tens of thousands of small employers who will need to be ready to meet their automatic enrolment duties next summer, urging them to prepare in good time.

Meanwhile, research released by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) in association with Payroll World highlighted the value of early preparation.

Karen Thomson, head of policy and research at the CIPP, said: “What has become clear is that you can’t start planning soon enough. Nearly 40 per cent of respondents said they started preparing between six and 12 months before their staging date but many still did not believe this was enough and that more than 12 months in advance would have been better.”

At Moore Thompson we provide comprehensive auto-enrolment support and our payroll service includes handling auto-enrolment opt-out and opt-in requests, adding employees to pension schemes, calculating contributions, processing deductions, providing pension reports and refunding contributions when appropriate.

Other aspects of auto-enrolment where we can assist include:

  • identifying the costs of auto-enrolment
  • assisting with the auto-enrolment information you need to send to your employees.

For more information on any of the above or any other payroll related issue please contact us.