All you need to know about auto-enrolment for small businesses

Auto-enrolment is a Government led initiative with the aim of getting more people to join a pension scheme, helping workers to prepare for later in life, and allowing them to prepare for a retirement that they can afford to enjoy.

Many UK companies do not currently offer a pension to their employees, but this is all changing with the introduction of auto-enrolling employees in to workplace pensions.

You can be auto-enrolled on to a company pension scheme if you fit the following criteria as an employee:

  • Aged between 22 and State Pension age;
  • Earn more than £10,000 a year;
  • Work in the UK.

It is advised for all businesses that you allow up to a year to prepare for when your auto-enrolment duties come in to effect (your staging date), however it is still not a simple or quick process with this time so you may be looking for support to set up and manage auto-enrolment for your company.

If you are a company that already operates a pension scheme for your employees you may find you have already done some of the hard work, but it is essential to check that it is compliant with the guidelines to prevent potential issues in the future.

The Government Pensions Regulator has provided a step by step guide on auto-enrolment for small businesses, from finding out your staging date to what to do once the scheme is live, but it is also recommended that you seek independent expert advice such as that being offered by Harvey Telford and Bates Chartered Accountants.

If you are a SME that has limited time and resource to set up and manage auto-enrolment, HTB Chartered Accountants can help, managing auto-enrolment for small businesses, ensuring that you have carried out all preparations correctly for your company and your staff, and the time-consuming on-going tasks.

Every business will be required to have a dedicated contact for auto-enrolment, liaising with the Pensions Regulator, pension provider and staff.

Ahead of the staging date this person will be responsible for carrying out a full assessment of your staff, potential contributions and the running costs of the scheme for your business – essential to establish the resource required to support such a scheme.

Once your auto-enrolment duties have begun, your auto-enrolment manager will be required to manage compliance, inform staff of the scheme and all on-going duties such as paying contributions, maintaining staff records and enrolling any new staff that are applicable.

Please contact our team to speak to our Auto-enrolment Specialist Coleen Jervis for guidance on helping your business through the auto-enrolment process and to manage going forward.