The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is concerned that some smaller employers will fall foul of auto-enrolment regulations because they are not giving themselves enough time to prepare.
There are up to half a million small and micro-employers due to stage this year and many of those have put off even looking at what the implications will be for them if they miss their staging date. When you consider that from 2012 to 2015 only 60,000 firms staged you can see the scale of the problem.
A E Ready have already worked with many companies who have buried their heads in the sand and ended up considerably poorer than they needed to be as they forked out hundreds, and at least one case recently, thousands of pounds in fines.
The regulator has written to all firms with staging dates this year to remind them of their duties. The watchdog said research showed that most employers wanted to do the right thing, but that small employers were more likely to leave things to the last minute.
Figures from Now Pensions suggest that last year one in eight firms waited until after their staging date to contact a provider. If that trend continues there will be 62,500 companies who miss their staging date in the next year and TPR believe this will rise again!
The most recent figures from the Regulator show the number of warnings handed out to employers quadrupled in the three months to the end of September.
TPR executive director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell (pictured) has advised:
“Our message to employers is to look out for letters from us and act on them. Those whose duties start in the first three months of the year should now be well underway with their plans.”
AE Ready Ltd came into being to help companies to be ready early and avoid fines. The regulator is currently suggesting that companies need to start one year before their staging date – the date by which companies have to comply.
If you are considering your options, need advice or are very close to your staging date contact us now. If you have missed your staging date please pick up the phone to us immediately; this is not a problem that will go away on its own. We can help get you through compliance swiftly.