Are You Ready?

Workplace pensions still strike fear into many, with the jargon and key dates a cause of confusion for businesses of all shapes and sizes. As of 2012, workplace pensions became a compulsory part of the way we do business, with employers having to eventually offer a workplace pension of their own by law and auto enrol eligible workers into their scheme as a result. With the deadline for this requirement now in sight – all employers have until 2018 to introduce a workplace pension scheme – it is important to be aware of the facts.

As a leading provider of accounting services in the North East of England, we regularly advise on auto-enrolment and other workplace pension musts. Our team is even on hand to manage the entire process on your behalf so you don’t miss any key dates or information.

What is auto-enrolment?

As the name suggests auto-enrolment is the process of automatically enrolling eligible employees onto your workplace pension scheme. Once an employee has been automatically enrolled a percentage of their wages is set aside and entered into the pension scheme, a pot that will be accessible upon retirement. Under the workplace pension scheme, you have a duty to contribute also. What you need to pay into the scheme is defined by the type of workplace pension you intend to offer and whether or not your employees have been auto-enrolled or have joined voluntarily.

Auto-enrolment has been rolled out in various stages – known as ‘staging dates’ – since the change in law five years ago and will continue until 2018. Businesses with a large number of employees started automatic enrolment first, whilst medium sized companies and smaller organisations followed.

When is my staging date?

Finding out your staging date is easy, simply visit The Pensions Regulator’s handy staging date tool and enter your Pay As You Earn (PAYE) reference. This PAYE reference will be documented on any letters you have received from The Pensions Regulator as part of the automatic enrolment drive, on communications received from HM Revenue & Customs when you first registered your business or on your payroll software.

If you don’t pay your employees via PAYE, then 1st April 2017 is your staging date.

Understanding your duties

Understanding your duties as an employer under the new workplace pension requirements is vital, and as well as using The Pensions Regulator’s online Duties Checker to discover what you need to do and when, tasks that will differ depending on your business circumstances and the circumstances of your employees, you can enlist our accounting services to make sense of the entire process.

To find out more about how we can help you please contact us on 0191 251 7599 or email