Auto enrolment is here. Every employer has to work on it and nearly all employers have to make significant changes to their employment, payroll and pension processes just to stay within the law. Breach can bring stiff financial penalties. The concept of auto enrolment may seem simple but the application makes other HR, payroll and pension requirements look like a walk in the park.
For good employers, just enrolling your employees into a pensions product is not enough!
Companies who have been through the process say they should have started earlier and used a dedicated and knowledgeable resource. As of August 2013, 89 of the largest UK companies were under investigation by the Pensions Regulator for non-compliance. Don’t let your company be next!
Auto Enrolment. Prepare in good time. Know what you have to prepare.
As an employer have you considered…..
• Auto enrolment applies to workers not just employees. The employer is legally responsible for auto enrolment compliance. This liability cannot be outsourced or shared with payroll agents, financial advisers, accountants, pension providers or anyone else.
• Auto enrolment requires you to identify 1) entitled workers, 2) non eligible job holders and 3) eligible job holders. Different rules apply to each category and you must send different communications to each in advance of staging date (the date the full auto enrolment rules apply to a specific business).
• Before staging date are you going to postpone auto enrolment to a preferred specific date up to three months beyond? Are you going to make a separate decision to use postponement for future recruitment?
• Do you know whether you will pay pension contributions based on a) the default, which is the qualifying earnings band including all payments such as bonuses, commissions, overtime and statutory payments, or b) on the basic pay rules?
• Have you thought about whether you will use your current pension plan (if any), a new pension plan or the National Employers Savings Trust (NEST) – and the pros and cons of each?
• Do you maintain full and correct payroll and personnel data for all workers at all times? Including contact address, national insurance number, date of birth, email address (where available), basic pay and actual earnings.
• The daily fines for non compliance for employers with 5 to 49 workers is £500 per day. For employers with 50 to 249 workers it is £2,500 per day. Plus any back payments of pension contributions with interest. There is a sophisticated sanctions and enforcement policy. It pays to get it right.
Most commentators say small to medium sized businesses will need at least six months to prepare for auto enrolment, but that’s from the start of the project. It will pay to be prepared so you know what decisions have to be made and the sort of work required. Leaving it means you may need to fit your business into any auto enrolment solution available rather than design your auto enrolment strategy to fit your business.
How are you planning to manage your Auto Enrolment pension arrangements?
CORPIAS can bring you much needed additional resource and expertise, to make the auto enrolment journey as painless as possible.
We outsource our pensions :
CORPIAS provides dedicated pensions director/manager services, which bring greater emphasis and capability to the pension service you provide your staff. We deal with your pensions strategy from the employers’ point of view, not from the provider’s. We can offer part-time or full-time support.
Our accountant does it all :
He or she is not a specialist, and is unlikely to provide more than a product or headline updates on regulatory requirements.
We have a financial advisor or consultant :
Who needs to sell a specific product or to be paid for advice. He or she may have a house view which may not be exactly right for your company and the service is not intended to solve all your auto enrolment pension challenges . CORPIAS works well with your financial adviser and the benefits should be positive for both. The adviser will get clarity and speed from CORPIAS and can leverage our deep pension and auto enrolment knowledge.
It is important to note that most improvements to pension provision are not related to financial advice, but to enabling the pension benefit strategy to be delivered in a way aligned to your company culture and aims. Changes include working better with internal teams, educating the workforce so they achieve better results, ensuring the employer contribution is appreciated, reviewing Auto Enrolment compliance and making sure it is maintained, and checking providers’ service standards are as promised or improved.
We do it in HR :
Your HR team are busy people and a lot of auto enrolment planning has fallen on their shoulders but they are not pensions specialists and are more productive working on their core role. CORPIAS supports the HR team and can extend what they want to achieve. We are a team player and add to your in-house resources when you need specialist help. Working with CORPIAS brings real benefit to your organisation.
We have a Pensions Manager/department :
That is great but have they got the time and experience to focus on auto enrolment with confidence. Your pension manager will be pleased with the help. CORPIAS is a good team player and adds subject matter expertise and broad experience when you need specialist help. CORPIAS brings real benefit your organisation.