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Latest News
08 Jun 2015

Auto Enrolment Now Extended To Firms With Less Than 30 Employees

The Government´s automatic enrolment scheme for companies paying into their employees´ pensions has now been extended to small family businesses and even people with a single employee – such as a nanny or carer – This Is Money reports.

Auto enrolment was first launched in autumn 2012, when larger companies began signing up to workplace pensions. This was followed by medium-sized companies and now, as the scheme rolls out, smaller businesses with less than 30 members of staff - ranging from florists to hairdressers - will also be included.

The Pensions Regulator has stated that in June this year, some 14,000 small and ‘micro´ firms will reach their staging dates for enrolment, with tens of thousands due to follow over the next 24 months. This will also include some families and individuals who have just one employee.

Anyone who repeatedly ignores their responsibilities towards their staff could be faced with fines, the article warns. According to figures from NOW: Pensions, this means that penalties could be handed out to more than a quarter (27%) of small businesses; but this figure is down from the 44% who were said to be unprepared for auto enrolment last year.

Currently, more than five million employees have been entered into workplace pension schemes, and this will eventually double as 1.3 million more employers get on board. Employees do have the option to opt out of the scheme, but so far nine in 10 people who have been entered into a scheme decide to remain part of it.

Morten Nilsson, head of NOW: Pensions, warned that “there really is nowhere left to hide” when it comes to auto enrolment, and is advising employers not to put things off:

“While most employers are confident that pension providers will be happy to accept their business, the reality is that not all providers will be willing to accept all employers and all employees on equal terms,” he told This Is Money. “If you are planning to rely on your existing provider, talk to them early to check they are willing to help.”

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