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Do you know your dates?

Many small and micro employers have absolutely no idea when they need to start complying with auto enrolment pensions rules.

Our Payroll Manager, Rich Morris, said research by The Pensions Regulator had shown just over two thirds of employers (67%) were completely unaware of their responsibilities.

“Eight in ten businesses whose staging date falls between August and November this year gave accurate answers and knew what their dates were.

“But for employers with staging dates between January and November 2016, the figures fell dramatically and only 29% of firms knew their dates.”

Despite these figures though, research showed that micro employers were now more aware of auto enrolment compared to the last survey in Autumn 2014.

“It’s clear that employers really need to get to grips with these new rules because otherwise they could face strict consequences.

“The Pensions Regulator’s research has shown that most small and micro employers due to transfer to the new system this year are already well under way with their preparations, but there is still no room for complacency.”

Rich said the challenge of ensuring 1.8 million employers met their responsibilities by 2018 was daunting and figures showed many employers were leaving it until the very last minute before they prepared their companies for the changeover.

“Employers should take advice from The Pensions Regulator’s website where they are constantly developing new tools to help simplify the process for employers. It’s important to act now and get plans into place, otherwise employers will risk serious financial penalties, which can so easily be avoided.”

Under the new auto enrolment rules, every employer with at least one member of staff now has new responsibilities, including putting those who meet certain criteria into a workplace pension scheme and contributing to it.

“It’s automatic for your staff as they don’t have to do anything to be enrolled into the scheme, but it’s not automatic for employers, and you must take action,” said Rich.

Rich Morris, DY's Payroll Manager