2017 has been a very important year for AutoEnrollMe as it has for Pension Regulations and our clients. For many of our clients, this has meant dealing with the tri-annual re-enrolments for the first time and the re-enrolment of employees who have previously opted out. With the experience of our support team, I believe we can say with certainty that this was not as arduous as many had imagined. 2017 also was a big year for automatic enrolment in general with all newly incorporated businesses from the 1 st October 2017 now having to provide a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme for the first time.
2017 was also the year that The Pension Regulator began to lose patience with companies who refused to comply with the regulations. By May of this year, 14,502 Fixed Penalty Notices had been issued and 2,517 Escalating Penalty Notices. These companies are now being Named and Shamed publicly and we are now seeing Enforcement visits to companies across the land to confirm all records are being kept in accordance with TPR requirements. Do remember AutoEnrollMe maintains your TPR records by pay period and we are here to support you in the event of an enforcement visit.
Our software and support also have evolved throughout 2017 as we have added further pension providers to those we support. This was driven largely by the changing market as some employers realise that promises made by pension providers just were simply not kept. This created a desire to move away from original providers to those who are in a better position to deliver against expectations. We are currently supporting an increasing number of companies who feel the time is right to consolidate two or more legacy schemes into one, to simplify administration, as well as those who wish to move to a new provider through frustration!
As we look ahead to 2018, we can expect to see even more challenges, as employers implement the new pension contribution percentages required by the automatic enrollment regulations, from as early as April. Rest assured we will be on hand to support you through these changes – but for now, its that time of year when we should turn our thoughts to our family, friends and recharging our batteries after a busy 2017.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our users: Advisers, Payroll Agents & Employers a Very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
From Russell, Wendy and all of us at AutoEnrollMe.