Are You Ready for Pension Auto Enrolment? Part Two
All businesses will soon have to provide a pension for their staff. The start date depends on the size of your business. But there’s a lot more to think about than just the date. Last month we brought you five tips to consider (click here to read that blog) and here are five more:
Existing joining methods may be fit for purpose. Many employers believe they will need to change the way they currently join employees to their pension scheme. However, your existing method and processes for joining may already be suitable. For example, if your employees already join the pension scheme via their contract of employment, then there may be no need to introduce a different method. This can also allow all staff to be treated the same way, regardless of their age or income. But it’s likely to mean changing processes and potentially employment contracts, to meet the new legal requirements.
Use waiting periods to fit your business. The majority of employers have used waiting periods aligned with payroll so employees join on the first day of the pay reference period. This avoids having to calculate, explain and manage part payments. But it is also possible to build in a waiting period to avoid one off events such as bonus payments or seasonal increases. Or to allow time to organise contract joining before the auto-enrolment duty kicks-in. But remember while employers can delay assessment and auto-enrolment, they cannot delay the statutory communications to their employees.
Communicate with employees early. Engaging with your employees and clearly communicating the changes in advance of auto-enrolment will make sure that when it happens, they understand why money is being deducted from their pay. This will also ensure they appreciate the value your contribution is adding while reducing employee questions.
Review existing default investment funds. You have a regulatory responsibility to make sure the auto-enrolment default investment option is suitable for your employees that will be enrolled to the scheme. Existing investment solutions may not be appropriate. Advice is crucial to getting this right. You also have a responsibility to have an on-going investment governance framework in place.
Remember to register with the Pensions Regulator. You must register your scheme with the Pensions Regulator within four months of your staging date. Details must be given of your qualifying workplace pension scheme and how you have gone about enrolling employees to the scheme.
There is a lot to think about and do when it comes to setting up your company pension. These five tips, combined with the five we gave you last month, give you a good starting point. In the meantime, if you have any questions about pensions, do get in touch.