Understanding Auto Enrolment

The Issues

The Law in the UK for workplace pensions has changed and it now encourages employees to save for their retirement. Therefore, all employers who employ staff are now required to provide a workplace pension for eligible employees and contribute to a pension scheme that meets qualifying standards.

If you employed staff before 1 October 2017 then you will have already received a Staging Date from the Pensions Regulator and you will now need to set up a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme. AutoEnrollMe can help you select a provider, create your scheme for you using our specialist software and guide you and your payroll agent through the process.

If you are not sure if these rules apply to you follow the link to The Pensions Regulator:

http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/

What is automatic enrolment and why do I have to do it?

People are living longer, yet too many people are under-saving, or not saving at all for what could be a long retirement. The law on workplace pensions has changed to make it easier for more people to build up a pension, particularly those on lower incomes.

Automatic enrolment means that, rather than having to actively choose to opt in to a pension scheme, staff are entered into one by their employer as a matter of course. If they don’t want to be in the pension scheme, they must actively choose to opt out.

When will I have to do it?

Automatic enrolment duties come into force for you from your ‘staging date’, if you have one. You can find out your staging date by entering your PAYE reference into The Pension Regulator tool. Your PAYE reference appears on any letters sent to you about your duties. If you do not have a Staging Date and you are employing staff for the first time from the 1stOctober 2017 then you need to do this as soon as you employ workers.

You will have the option to postpone Automatic Enrolment for up to three months. If you decide to do this, you won’t need to enrol anyone until the end of the postponement period, but you must have already created your scheme. AutoEnrollMe can do this for you.

For more information go to postponement.

Who do I need to enter into a pension scheme?

If you are an employer employing one or more staff that meet the following criteria then you will need to enter them into a pension scheme:

  • Aged 22 to state pension age
  • Working in the UK
  • Earning over £10,000 a year, £192/week, or £833 per month

Those who do not meet the criteria above still have the right to opt into the pension scheme you have chosen for Automatic Enrolment. You must enter them in if they ask. You will have to pay a minimum employer contribution for all staff you enter into this scheme.

Certain other staff can ask to join a pension scheme. Whilst you must enter these staff into a scheme, the rules are different and there is no requirement for you to pay an employer contribution. The age and earnings of a member of staff determine what ‘type’ of employee they are and therefore what duties you have towards them. Your Payroll system should provide this assessment for you but if you have any questions then AutoEnrollMe can help.

What else do I need to do?

You will need to write to each member of staff individually to tell them how they will be personally affected by Automatic Enrolment. The information you tell them will differ depending on their rights and the duties you have towards them. Don’t worry, statutory letters bespoke to your pension scheme can be produced automatically in the AutoEnrollMe Portals.

You must also provide certain information to the regulator about how you have complied with your duties. AutoEnrollMe can help you fulfil all your compliance and record keeping duties – it’s all part of our service!

Where do I start?

  1. Complete this questionnaire as far as you are able to and submit it. A member of the AutoEnrollMe team will contact you shortly.

2.Start planning early.

You will need to make some initial changes to allow for Automatic Enrolment, such as:

  • Setting up a pension scheme in your payroll system or modifying an existing one. Our support team can handhold you through this process.
  • Making any necessary changes to payroll so it can handle the new requirements. AutoEnrollMe are experts in leading payroll agents through this process – our team understands how to work with all leading payroll systems.
  • Prepare to upload enrolment and contribution data to your provider. The AutoEnroll system makes this easy regardless of the provider you have selected. We have direct data links through our system to all the major providers.

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