I expect that most of you are aware that you will need to auto enrol your staff into a workplace pension within the next few years. Our research shows that 90 per cent of small employers and 80 per cent of micro employers know about the new pension duties. But that does not necessarily equate to understanding. In fact, 80 per cent of small and micro employers say they don’t fully comprehend what auto enrolment means for their business.
If you are one of those who feel you need to understand more about what auto enrolment means for your business, there’s no need to be alarmed. Help is available - and you wouldn’t be alone if you do decide you want to seek support.
Our research found that nearly three quarters of small and micro employers will be turning to an intermediary for help: an accountant, a payroll provider or an independent financial adviser (IFA) for example.
What kinds of support could they offer? This will depend on the kind of help you want– whether that’s understanding your duties better, finding a suitable pension scheme or outsourcing all your auto enrolment administration.
In any case, asking them the right questions will put you well on your way to getting the ball rolling. Here are three important questions to ask:
Who do I need to enrole?
There are some set criteria for who eligible workers are, including:
- workers aged between 22 and the state pension age
- those working in the UK
- those earning above £10,000
What an intermediary can help with is identifying other types of workers who can ask to be enrolled, as you may need to make contributions for them too.
What more do I need to do to comply with the duties?
This could depend on your current processes, from your use of payroll to how you communicate with to your staff. The intermediary you approach for support can help identify what else you might need to do as well as an action plan so that you get everything you need to do on time.
Do you have a service that takes care of the ongoing administration?
I expect that most of you want to focus your time on the day to day running of your business. If that is the case, then you might want your accountant, payroll provider or IFA to manage the bulk of the administration of your auto enrolment duties. It might be worth asking if they have a service in place to deal with this. NEST has set up a free service for intermediaries called ‘NEST Connect’ which helps them provide administration services to multiple clients. Why not ask them if they’ve signed up to this yet?
For more information about what you might need to do to get ready for your new duties and other questions you could ask intermediaries who can help you, check out the NEST for employers and Professionals helping employers pages on our website.