… then you’ve come to the right place. The changes coming in with Autoenrolment are the biggest changes to the regulations surrounding pensions in the UK for years, so it is understandable if business owners aren’t sure exactly what they mean or what they need to do. Add in that the deadline for most employers running small businesses is 1st April 2017 (less than 2 months away) and we completely understand you may be stressed about it.
We’re interested in helping you keep things simple. If you’re running a business, why not get experts to take care of your bookkeeping and payroll instead of struggling with it yourself and possibly costing your business more than you need to? It’s what we do best, after all.
12 months before your staging deadline
Nominate a contact in your company to receive information and updates from The Pensions Regulator
The Pensions Regulator will communicate with this person via regular emails and letters. You may not still have your staging letter, you’d be surprised how many of our clients have either thrown the letter away or mislaid it. Don’t panic if this is you! You can check your staging date using this handy tool online and your PAYE reference.
If you’re worried about not meeting your staging deadline then why not pick up the phone and give us a call – if you use our services, we’ll do all we can help you avoid penalty charges.
6 months before your staging deadline
Choose a suitable pension provider and scheme
There are a whole lot of choices to make here that have a direct impact on the cost to your business and hence your bottom line. Our specialist AE partner can help guide you through the quagmire to make the right decision for your business, without becoming a pensions expert yourself!
3 months before your staging deadline
Write to staff to let them know what is happening
Both employers and staff contribute to the Workplace pension so they’ll have a lot of questions if you don’t give them a heads up on what is happening. It is also your legal duty as an employer to inform your staff about the scheme and how it affects them. There are templates available to help you do this and we can point you in the right direction to save you time.
At staging deadline
Assess your staff and find out which are eligible for the workplace pension and which must be offered the chance to opt in
Ideally this should be done a little before your staging date so you have a good idea how many job holders will be automatically opted in. This can get really complex if you have workers on part time vs full time contracts or seasonal staff. The good news is that our integrated payroll package means we can do this along with your payroll for this first assessment and also all the future ones.
At each payroll after your staging deadline
Re-assess staff and pay necessary pension contributions
Of course, your staging deadline is just the beginning. You need to calculate who and how much to pay at each payroll point, be it weekly, 2 weekly or monthly. Our software can do this along with your payroll processing making it really easy to calculate the amounts, update your records and keep on top of it. We also offer a management accounts to help you keep on top of budgets and forecasting for your business as you budget for your pension contributions in financial year 17-18 and beyond.
Within 5 months of your staging deadline
Make your compliance declaration
You’ll need to tell the Pensions Regulator that you’ve fulfilled all your obligations and also provide evidence of what you’ve done. If everything is in place this should be pretty simple. If you let us help with payroll and pensions we’ll keep all the necessary records for you and help you with the online declaration so it only takes a minimum of your time.
3 years after your staging deadline
Fully evaluate all staff and automatically re-enrol any who are eligible, even if they opted out last time
In other words: go through the whole process from step 3 above including submitting a new compliance declaration.
Avoid non compliance fees!
If that seems like a lot of work, don’t just put it to the back of your mind. Fines for non compliance start at a fixed penalty fee of £400. However, this will escalate to per day fines if you don’t get things in order that range from £50 to £10,000 per day depending on the size of the business.
Sadly there is no reason to think the Pensions Regulator will be relaxed about this as they’ve been issuing fines for larger businesses (who had earlier staging deadlines) who failed to comply in time. We know you don’t want to add that to your list of worries and business costs. Help is available from our friendly team pictured below and contact Lisa Walkden, Practice Manager on 01825 763378 if you want to have a chat about getting things sorted simply and easily.
Left to Right: Fiona McNally, Payroll Controller at Team4; Chris Hart, Director of AE Simplicity; Lisa Walkden, Team4 Practice Manager