It doesn't have to be complicated...
Some employers seem to think that auto enrolment is burdensome, complicated and time consuming; however this is not necessarily the case. With the right tools and support in place, it can be simplified and automated, and in time will become business as usual.
In this article. we'll tell you 9 things you need to know when implementing Auto Enrolment in your workplace:
In advance of staging
Pension Scheme Set-up – Some employers are required to set up a pension scheme. There are a number of pension providers who offer pension schemes suitable for Auto Enrolment. It is important to choose a pension scheme that is suitable for you, your employees and your payroll system. If you don't have any workers who meet the criteria to be automatically enrolled, then a pension scheme does not need to be set up, although there may be other tasks that you need to complete.
Automated Software – For auto enrolment to be easy, it is important to have the right software in place. Make sure that you have payroll software that can simplify and automate the various auto enrolment tasks.
Assessing and Enrolling Employees – At your staging date, you must assess your workers and determine whether they need to be automatically enrolled. Eligibility is based upon a worker's age and earnings. Most payroll software will assess employees for you and notify you when an employee needs to be enrolled.
Communications – You must communicate with ALL workers to inform them of how auto enrolment affects them and what their rights are. These communications must be sent within 6 weeks of the staging date. Many payroll software packages include personalised letters that can be sent directly to the employees.
Postponement – You have the option to postpone the assessment of employees for up to three months from your staging date. At the end of the postponement period, you must assess employees and enrol any eligible jobholders.
Opt In & Opt Out Requests – Workers who are automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme have the option to opt out of the pension scheme within one month of being enrolled. If this occurs, you must arrange for a full refund of all contributions made.
Ongoing Duties – Auto Enrolment does not end at staging! There are a number of ongoing duties that you are responsible for. All employees must be assessed each pay period in case an employee has a change in their eligibility. If this occurs, the employee must be enrolled or postponed, as at staging. It is also important to deduct and contribute both employee and employer pension contributions. You must communicate with the pension provider each pay period to notify them of the various contributions being made through a contributions file and make the payment to the pension scheme.
Declaration of Compliance – A declaration of compliance must be completed within 5 months of the staging date. This is to notify the Pensions Regulator that you have complied with Auto Enrolment.
Re-enrolment – Every three years after staging you must re-assess employees and re-enrol any eligible jobholders. Again you must communicate with these workers and complete a re-declaration of compliance.
We hope that these 9 tips have answered your Auto Enrolment questions. If not, please contact us on 01284 731800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Pension Regulator's website, www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/ is also a great resource for auto enrolment information.