Article by Rebecca Mason 23.11.15
Do you employ anyone? If you do, then, you/your company must have the facility to provide your employees a pension (this is known as auto-enrolment/workplace pension). When do I have to do this? I hear you ask. This blog is designed to help you through this process.
One year before your company stages for auto-enrolment/workplace pensions you will receive a letter from The Pension Regulator informing you of your staging date and what you should do. The best advise from me is, don’t panic, you have a year to get things done, if you are unsure, ask and your payroll provider should be able to do all the “hard” work once you have picked a pension provider.
1. When your company receives it’s initial letter about auto-enrolment, contact The Pension Regulator and inform them who within your company is the point of contact. This is usually the person who processes your payroll. This can be done via this link: http://www.trp.gov.uk/nominate-contact
2. As a company owner/employer, it would be advisable to sign up for the e-newsletter from The Pension Regulator for regular bite size information.
3. If you already have a pension scheme in place for your employees, that’s great. All your company has to do is check with your existing pension provider to find out if it is a qualifying scheme for auto-enrolment. If it is not, they should be able to advise your company of how to change it to a qualifying scheme.
4. If you don’t already have a pension scheme in place for your employees, then you will have to chose one and register with them for auto-enrolment. Don’t worry, there are 3 major providers who specifically equipped up for small businesses: NEST, NOW Pensions and The People’s Pension.
5. Once you have a pension provider in place, inform your staff of who they are and how it will affect them. Your pension provider may aid you with this, if not, this link should help you: http://www.tpr.gov.uk/awareness
7. As a company, you will have to liaise with your employees and pension provider to get all the required information from them to set up the scheme before your staging date.
8. About 1-2 months before your staging date, as a company you should ensure that your payroll software can send the correct information to your pension provider each pay period. This may require you to buy and install additional payroll software. If you have a payroll provider, they will take care of this for you.
9. On, and after your company’s staging date, your payroll provider/staff member should run your payroll as normal, ensuring that you now encompass the auto-enrolment obligations. Your pension provider should write to all your staff members informing them of their services and how to opt out if they wish to do so.
10. Keep your staff informed about auto-enrolment as and when required.
11. Ensure you opt out any employee who wishes to do so when you are informed by your pension provider of their wishes to do this.
12. Within 5 months of your staging date, your company should complete the declaration of compliance. http://www.tpr.gov.uk/declaration
Once you have done all these steps, each pay period you will just have to do step 9, 10 and 11. Ensuring that you keep a record of all communications you have with your employees (some payroll software will do this for you). Remember: every 3 year, you will have to enrol all eligible staff and they will have to make the decision to opt out again if they wish to do so.
As a payroll provider, I can offer a fully integrated payroll & auto-enrolment package. For further information on this, or, advice on auto-enrolment, please feel free to contact me on either firstname.lastname@example.org or 07531051264.