Auto-enrolment is extended to firms with fewer than 30 employees

From the start of this month, firms with fewer than 30 employees will start to be phased into the Government's automatic enrolment scheme, which was set up because people are living longer but are not putting enough money aside for their old age.

According to the Pensions Regulator, c.14,000 small businesses will be reaching their staging dates this month, with many thousands more coming into play over the next two years.

This includes small family businesses, hairdressers, grocers and in time even people employing just one person such as a nanny or a carer.  

Auto-enrolment started in October 2012, with the largest companies joining up first, followed by medium-sized companies. Many of these were reasonably experienced with pensions but for the latest companies to be affected, dealing with the whole pension auto enrolment process could be quite a chore.

For these small companies, they will need to set up a pension scheme and enrol their eligible staff into it and they will also need to complete a declaration of compliance to confirm that they have met their automatic enrolment duties. You can use your PAYE reference number to check exactly when you will reach your "staging date" - which is when your auto-enrolment duties come into effect. You can check this on the Pensions Regulator's website at www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/staging-date.aspx .

Auto-enrolment is not an option – it is compulsory – and fines could be imposed for those not complying.

The new employer duties are covered by hundreds of pages of legislation, so getting financial advice to help you through the whole process makes sense. This will include establishing when the changes affect you, what you need to do, what will happen if you do nothing and finally how to set up a qualifying scheme.

For help with auto-enrolment, contact Kellands now.

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