Recent Research published by The Pensions Regulator showed that 20% of small employers and almost 50% of micro employers do not know the exact date they need to comply with auto enrolment rules. (For the purpose of the research small employers employ 5-49 employees and micro employers 1-4 employees.)
The Pensions Regulator warned that firms should start preparing for auto enrolment twelve months ahead of their staging date and if they did not prepare well ahead of time they put themselves at risk of non compliance and possible fines.
The research showed that compared with large employers (250-799 employees) that were at a similar distance from their staging date fewer smaller and medium employers had started to plan for auto enrolment.
The Pensions Regulator Executive Director of Auto Enrolment Charles Counsell said, ‘Employers must prepare and they will be looking for advisers to help them.’ (Source: Pensions Regulator website).
In October 2014 new research conducted by Independent Financial Researcher Defaqto on behalf of NOW Pensions supports The Pension Regulator findings. 72% of advisers say employers are coming to them for advice either very close or after their staging date. 87% of advisers are concerned employers lack knowledge to make informed decisions on appropriate auto enrolment solutions for their employees.
Richard Porter Auto Enrolment Specialist at Visionary St Albans said: ‘Over 1 million small and micro businesses will begin staging from June 2015. These businesses must start planning for auto enrolment now if they want to achieve their staging date and avoid regulatory fines. We’ve worked with many businesses that had to delay staging because they weren’t ready. Smaller companies may employ less staff but they still have to address all the same auto enrolment issues, so planning will take just as long. The advice is know your staging date and prepare.’