Pension Staging date approaching?

08 November 2016

Pensions can be confusing. However, the new system of auto-enrolment pensions (sometimes known as the workplace pension) has been designed to be reasonable in its process and approach. The major issue that we have found for employers is that it is onerous. Compliance with the rules, the company's staging date and reporting to The Pensions Regulator must be adhered to carefully and we have found many employers who would prefer for us to take on this responsibility. We are aware that many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have received, and are receiving, their individual notices of their staging dates and what they need to be considering, including of course, the cost to the business. With inflation rising and employee pay increase demands elevating, getting it right is vital.

We have significant experience in providing advice and implementing new pension schemes to meet the requirements of the employer and their responsibilities under auto-enrolment regulations. Some believe that their existing pension scheme covers all the bases, but we have found on checking that many do not comply, leaving an employer non-compliant and exposed. We have all seen the warning TV adds with the 'Workie' monster walking round the park.

Also, communicating the benefits to employees is important to allow them time to be ready for their own costs of contribution, whilst understanding that saving for retirement, whether they are young or older, is worthwhile. Some employers have found our staff presentations and packs useful in achieving full staff communications in a timely and effective manner.

The rules and requirements do not end at the establishment of the scheme. After three years the scheme needs to be reviewed and any employees that opted out are required to be re-enrolled (with the option to opt out again) and once complied, this update must be reported to The Pensions Regulator within five calendar months of the third anniversary of the company's staging date. As with the original Declaration of Compliance at the start of the scheme, the re-declaration is mandatory and failure to complete it on time could result in severe penalties. The Pensions Regulator provides further details here: http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/reenrolment.aspx

As you can see, the responsibility to meet the initial AND ongoing auto-enrolment requirements are important and if you would like advice to meet your company needs, both now and into the future, please let us know. Please contact me or Vicky Fulcher, our Associate Director, at the Guildford office on 01483 578800 or info@chaptersfinancial.com.

No individual advice is provided during this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS

Director

CFP Chartered FCSI

Chartered Financial Planner