A quarter of business owners are unaware of their impending auto enrolment obligations. The HR Dept is warning local companies about the importance of getting clued up on the process so they don’t get left behind or penalised. By the end of June 2014 30,000 UK SMEs (small to medium sized enterprises) should be providing a workplace pension scheme. During 2014 there are some key staging dates which smaller SMEs in particular should be aware of. The requirement to provide employees with an auto enrolment compliant pension scheme is mandatory.
The HR Dept said: “It’s worrying to know that so many business owners are in the dark about auto enrolment. We want to make sure everyone’s got the information they need so that business owners can keep their companies running smoothly. It does need to be planned out, therefore taking advice early is important.
“This is such an important issue for employers and employees alike. Business owners could be penalised for their failure to meet the terms of auto enrolment. For employees it’s more of a long-term problem, with their financial future at stake.”
There’s also the issue of timing – don’t leave it too late. Putting off your auto enrolment duties to the last minute could be detrimental when choosing your pension provider. With so many SMEs after the best deal it’s a competitive market, and concerns have been expressed that the number of businesses could outweigh the number of pension schemes available. The auto enrolment process can be difficult to navigate without professional advice, as home furnishings retailer Dunelm found out. The company was found to have drastically underpaid its contributions, with a Dunelm spokesperson revealing that “staffing issues” and “the organisation’s bespoke payroll solution” were to blame.
To avoid getting caught out, The HR Dept suggests seeking professional advice. A small investment like this will ensure you are legally compliant. It will also save you a huge amount of time, allowing you to focus on what’s important: growing your business.