The timer is now ticking for small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) to complete the auto-enrolment process. The 1st June 2015 is the start of the staging date for them to automatically enrol eligible “jobholders” in a pension scheme which has to be completed by 1 April 2017.
A “jobholder” includes permanent, fixed-term and temporary employees (agency workers). As a reminder the occupational or personal pension schemes must meet statutory quality requirements. Alternatively businesses can enrol jobholders in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), which has been set up by the government.
We have also seen a sharp rise in the number of penalty notices issued to employers by the Pensions Regulator for not complying with their auto-enrolment duties. Between 1 January and 31 March 2015, 198 fixed penalty notices were issued. Employers should therefore seek advice to ensure they will be compliant with the statutory requirements.