Auto enrolment checklist – A Quick Guide
People are living longer lives
The government has introduced a new law designed to help people save more for their retirement. Starting from 2012 all employers with one or more employees will be required by law to automatically enrol certain workers into a workplace pension and pay into the scheme dependent on precise criteria.
Automatic enrolment is the name of the process an employer must follow to make a member of staff an active member of a pension scheme, without that member of staff’s involvement.
How do I prepare for auto enrolment
1. Know your staging date
Your organisation’s auto enrolment staging date will depend on the number of employees you have. You can find your staging date by entering your employer PAYE Reference Code in here:
2. Don’t delay
Dependent on the number of employees you have and your Employer PAYE Reference Code you will be given a legal start date along with many other similar sized organisations. All of these organisations will be asking and researching the market at the same time as you – be aware there could be a shortage of financial advisors when your time comes! So start preparing at least 18 months ahead of your staging date. You cannot change your launch date deadline but you can start auto enrolment early so start preparing and launch early to ensure a smooth implementation.
3. Nominate your organisation’s in-house workbase pension contact
The person who takes on this role will be responsible for the roll out of auto enrolment within your organisation and the contact point for all employees and pension/payroll providers. This could be a HR Manager, Managing Director or Financial Director – but whoever takes on the role should be fully aware of the implications of a poorly administered process or slack record keeping!
4. Assess your workforce
This will be a data processing exercise to ascertain which employees fall into the various categories of pension contribution banding. At the time of writing the categories are:
- Eligible job holders: aged 21 to state retirement age, earning of £8,105 pa.
- Non Eligible job holders: age 16 to 21 and state retirement age to 75 with earnings between £5,564 and £8,105 per annum.
- Entitled workers: under 16 or over 75 with earning below £5,564.
List your workers under their respective bands and understand your responsibilities for each segment.
You can obtain an approximate cost per employee here:
5. Decide on your pension scheme provider
This may involve the advice from a qualified Financial Advisor who will help you research the pension market and find a suitable product for auto-enrolment that suits your organisation and employees. A good Financial Advisor will help you extrapolate data, illustrate plan benefits and explain the ongoing costs to your business and employees. They should help you set up your internal administration processes for your organisation and each employee.
It is important to keep all your stakeholders informed of your plans and timelines including HR, Employees, Accountants, Payroll and Legal entities. You may not have all the answers at the start – but ensure you communicate what you do know and what your next steps are.
7. Start the Auto enrolment process
Once you have carried out your research, found a suitable pension provider and analysed and pulled together your data – you are ready to start the roll-out of Workbase Pensions by:
- Enrolling eligible jobholders
- Ensuring your payroll is accurate, policed and reporting appropriately
- Keeping appropriate records.
- Adhering to your on-going legal responsibilities.
It is important to understand the above ‘Quick Guide’ is not not a definitive list. The goal posts for auto enrolment are moving and changing all of the time. The government themselves have not settled on the exact criteria and pension providers are still in flux to which products are best qualified for use. However, as an employer it is imperative that you start researching and preparing early for your staging date.
For further help with understanding how your payroll will be affected by workbased pensions please contact us on 0117 9328145.