Tag Archives: auto-enrolment

Auto Enrolment – Should I Be Preparing Now?

Auto Enrolment blogIn March 2015, a total of 5.2 million eligible job holders were automatically enrolled and around 35,000 employers had completed their declaration of compliance, according to The Pensions Regulator. This year, around 45,000 employers will reach their staging date, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Next year 45,000 businesses per month will be required to comply.

Most small owner-managed businesses with fewer than 30 employees will have little or no time to deal with the amount of administrative work that comes with auto enrolment, not to mention the payroll expertise.

It seems that many of the traditional pension providers, often large, well-known insurance companies, are being choosy about the smaller businesses and their schemes, deeming them not as profitable due to the smaller number of employees and contributions being paid.

So what can small businesses do now?

  • Start the process 9 to 12 months ahead of your staging date. Identify a suitable provider and discuss what you want from your scheme.
  • At least 6 months before your staging date start setting up your pension scheme with your chosen adviser. Don’t think that because you employ fewer than 30 people it will be quick and easy.
  • Don’t assume that you can use your existing pension scheme, if you have one. It may not meet the new requirements.

For more information or for a no obligation discussion, please email Antony Keen at antony.keen@pmm.co.uk or call 01254 679131.

Auto Enrolment – The Results Are In

shutterstock_121236118The PM+M Wealth Management team recently sent out an Auto Enrolment survey to local businesses. The results have shown that 28% of North West businesses which have yet to reach their Auto Enrolment staging date do not know what the new law is or how it will affect their organisation.

Despite a much-hyped campaign undertaken by the government, it seems that a large proportion of companies are still unaware of the details around Auto Enrolment which states that every employer must automatically enrol their workers into a workplace pension scheme if they are between 22 and State Pension age, earn more than £10,000 a year and work in the UK.

The research of 200 North West businesses by our team also showed that 44% do not know their own staging date; 45% are unaware of what the implications will be on their business once they reach it; whilst 50% feel they are not ready. The final question asked whether Auto Enrolment will be dealt with in-house or if the services of an independent adviser will be sought; 56% stated they are unsure of what to do.

Antony Keen, director of the Wealth Management team,  said: “Auto Enrolment is one of the biggest reforms to pensions so it’s vital to know the facts and to do your research. We know it’s an administrative nightmare, but we were still surprised by the findings of the survey. Our advice is clear: plan early and don’t stick your head in the proverbial sand as the pensions regulator can fine companies which fail to comply.”

For more information or if would like some advice on Auto Enrolment, please call Antony Keen on 01254 679131 or email antony.keen@pmm.co.uk.

PM+M Wealth Management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

6 Key Tips to Reduce your Business Growing Pains

On 15th May PM+M hosted a joint seminar with the East Lancs Chamber of Commerce and Taylors Solicitors entitled ‘Growing Pains’.  The seminar was held at the Chamber premises at Red Rose Court in Accrington.

With 6 speakers in total there was a lot to get through in the allotted time and it was a great turnout with over 35 attendees.

The team - Growing Pains

The presenting team L-R Emma Swan, Darren Grantham, Helen Binns, Colin Emmett, Julie Mason, Antony Keen, Jackie Fisher

Darren Grantham from the Chamber started the proceedings with a quick summary of the work that the Chamber do and played a brief video.

I then took to the floor to talk through the journey of Spencer and Mark who own a growing business.  The story highlighted the dangers of insufficient planning and it gave some indicators of the best way to move forward and succeed with a growing business.  The importance of producing management information was emphasised and Helen Binns demonstrated some practical examples of financial ratios.

Spencer and Mark’s journey was then picked up by my colleague, Colin Emmett, PM+M’s director of IT who gave a detailed critique on choosing the best IT system and whether or not the Cloud is the way forward vs the traditional desktop approach to IT.

After a quick coffee break Julie Mason, PM+M’s payroll bureau manager gave an update as to all matters payroll.  Julie discussed the new RTI system and how firms who have been using the system for some time have been affected.  It sounds like HMRC have been experiencing some teething problems as well!

Following on from Julie, Antony Keen from PM+M Wealth Management highlighted recent developments in auto enrolment including some horror stories of the fines already being levied for non compliance.

AK - Growing Pains

PM+M’s Antony Keen covers auto enrolment

Last but certainly not least was Emma Swan, employment partner at Taylors Solicitors who gave a very engaging insight into the many pitfalls of HR.  Concentrating on contracts of employment and the dangers of not having the correct procedures in place, Emma expanded onto the consequences of this, outlining the potential costs involved with an employment tribunal.

6 Key things to take away from the seminar were:

  • It’s never too early to plan
  • Speak to the experts
  • Find an IT system that suits your requirements
  • Make sure everything is in place for RTI
  • Planning for auto enrolment should commence 12 months before your staging date
  • Contracts, contracts, contracts!

Hope you find these tips helpful and if you want any further advice drop me an email Jackie.fisher@pmm.co.uk or call me on 01254 604359.

Jackie Fisher – Run My Business Partner

Auto Enrolment – not just compliance!

Much has been written about auto enrolment over the past few years.  The majority of articles have focused on the costs to employers and the potential penalties payable for non-compliance, this in turn has created a negative view of auto enrolment in general.

Whilst there is no doubting the new legislation is an additional cost to employers, and the legislation can be onerous, it is not all bad news!

Auto enrolment is an opportunity for employers to engage with their employees and provide a benefit that is of real value.  It is worth remembering that auto enrolment was introduced to combat the duel effects of increasing longevity and low pensions savings.  In our experience the vast majority of people know they need a pension, intend to join one, but never quite get round to it!

Employers therefore have the opportunity to create a sizable amount of good will with employees, by providing access to a quality pension scheme and advice.

For most employees their first conversation on auto enrolment will start off with a negative statement, something along the lines of “you will have to put x% of your salary into a pension scheme and your employer and tax man will also contribute”.

Perhaps a more positive spin would be “for every pound you put into your pension another pound will be added and this will then grow tax free until retirement”.

Or to put it even more simply…………… double your money!

It is also true to say that many people will have purchased a pension and then never reviewed or met with a financial advisor since the day they made that first premium.  At PM+M we only setup quality pension schemes that include a regular review service, with every employee being given the opportunity to meet with an advisor on a regular basis, to discuss their retirement planning, utilising our bespoke one page pension planner.

The pension planner shows the employee their estimated income in retirement and can be used to look at “what if” scenarios, such as the effect of increasing premiums and or taking earlier or later retirement.

So whilst auto enrolment is something of a burden on employer, it can be turned into a positive by engaging with employees and providing access to a quality pension scheme and review service that employees will value and engage with.

If you want to provide your employees with a positive pension experience, coupled with a jargon free high quality regular review service, contact Antony Keen at PM+M.

Auto Enrolment

Affecting every employer in the UK, Auto Enrolment requires employers not only to set up and contribute to employees pensions, but also to comply with a whole new set of legislation.  This new legislation, the most radical change to the UK pension system in our lifetime, is designed to tackle the double difficulties arising from increased life expectancy and low pension savings.

To meet their duties employers will have to:

  • Know their staging date.
  • Assess their workforce – identify and categorise employees.
  • Review existing pension schemes  to see if they meet the new requirements.
  • Communicate with workers in line with obligations.
  • Automatically enrol eligible job holders.
  • Manage opt-ins.
  • Manage opt-outs.
  • Make required contributions for and on behalf of jobholders.
  • Make arrangements for any “entitled workers” who want to join a pension scheme to do so.
  • Keep records and provide information to the Pension Regulator if asked to do so.

Whilst the legislation is well intended, as you can see from the above, it is complicated and potentially onerous for employers!

With potential daily fines of up £10,000 for getting it wrong or failing to comply, employers need to act now.

In the next few years a staggering 1.4 million pension schemes will need to be created with 8.8 million employees needing to be auto enrolled.  The pension industry is struggling to cope with this demand and already we are seeing providers being selective about which schemes they want to act for.

It is critical to start the planning process as early as possible (we would recommend at least six to nine months in advance of your staging date).

For further information on pensions and auto enrolment please contact Antony Keen on antony.keen@pmm.co.uk or 01254 679138.