Are you Ready for Auto Enrolment?
Once you know your staging date for auto enrolment, it is prudent to start working towards it straight away. You will be notified by the Pensions Regulator to begin planning twelve months before your staging date, but if your circumstances are complex the process can be longer. The fact you have a year’s notice should give you a strong indication that this will not be an overnight process.
Data to Collect
To help you get prepared for auto enrolment, it is a good idea to start putting facts and figures together so you are ready for your staging date. Some of the records you compile are a requirement under law. To that end, ensure you are a hundred per cent accurate on the following.
Auto Enrolment Data – The Top Five to Collect
- How many of your employees are eligible for auto enrolment. This will give you the basis to look at other factors such as cost per month per employee. It will govern not only your auto enrolment employer obligations, but future budgeting as well for the whole business.
- Costs. You obviously need to budget and auto enrolment will incur its share of costs. A good tip is to ignore the DWP survey of 2012 and assume that every employee who is eligible will remain in the workplace pension that kicks in with auto enrolment. You can learn more about this by reading our blog on the subject: Thumbs up for Auto Enrolment.
- Notifying staff of auto enrolment workplace pensions. As soon you have numbers, you need to start informing your staff in writing of the forthcoming scheme. This includes their contributions, start dates, the details of the pension scheme, and the option to opt out of the scheme if they wish.
Some staff may want auto enrolment advice or to clarify points. As a dutiful employer you should do your best to address their concerns. It may be prudent to appoint a financial adviser too. All letters sent to employees need to be recorded.
- Notify the pension company or trustees. Here you send your pension provider or trustees all the names of people eligible for the scheme. Details will include National Insurance number, date of birth, name and address, start date of auto enrolment, contact details including email address if applicable, contributions from both you and your employee, and salary details. This has to be done in writing, though electronic communication is acceptable as well. Ideally this should be done in advance. Remember it will take a few days for a member of the scheme to become active within it.
Again all records must be maintained and produced when required.
- Communications with the Pensions Regulator. It is prudent to keep a record of all of the communications between you and the regulator. This way you have a record of what you have been advised, and what action you have taken.
For more information on auto enrolment record keeping click here.