An eye on the future…

Over 45,000 businesses are due to enrol their workers onto a workplace pension scheme in 2015, rising to over half a million next year. Just how prepared are you for this, and do you know when you should start? Julia Wright has the answers.

Firstly, what is automatic enrolment?
Staging for small and micro employers is due to rise over the next few years. All employers are now legally required to enrol certain staff into a pension scheme and to make contributions. The first step to complying with your duties under auto enrolment is simple. Establish your staging date.

If it’s automatic then surely I don’t have to do anything?
No, sorry. It is only automatic for staff, not for the employer.

I only have five employees. Am I exempt from enrolling?
No again. Every employer with at least one employee must comply with auto enrolment.

What is a staging date?
This is the date that your automatic enrolment duties apply.

cutpensionHow can I find out my staging date?
Easy. The Pensions Regulator sends out letters letting employers know their staging date. If you haven’t received a letter, enter your PAYE reference at to find this date.

I don’t have any staff. Do I still have to comply?
If your only staff members are directors, then you might not have any duties under the new scheme. However, you will have a duty if more than one director has a contract of employment. Check thoroughly and don’t assume anything.

Who do I need to enrol?
You won’t know until you find out the age and rate of pay of your employees. This will determine who has to be enrolled.

What happens if I don’t comply?
Employers that don’t comply will face enforcement action. This could be a fine or prosecution – or both.

What are the steps I need to follow?
The recommended steps are as follows:

  1. Find out your staging date
  2. Provide a point of contact
  3. Establish who you need to enrol
  4. Prepare your action plan

Who should be my point of contact?
The employer will be the primary point of contact but you can nominate other people too, such as an accountant, book keeper or payroll provider. They can implement the process on your behalf and most importantly, take away the hassle for you!

Confused? Talk to the expert:
Accountancy Plus
01273 735344

About Julia Maltby
Julia’s award-winning business Accountancy Plus has been crunching numbers and saving fortunes for over 22 years and specialises in the creative industries. Julia seriously lives for accounts, VAT, bookkeeping, business and tax planning and tax returns. There’s no accounting for taste. Time-honoured personal services from her team for both business and private accounts.