All employers have to offer a work-based pension to their employees, and all eligible employees should be auto-enrolled on the scheme. Pensions are an important aspect of retirement planning; auto-enrolment was introduced by the government in an attempt to increase the number of people saving for their future.
There are a number of obligations which employers face with regard to offering a workplace pension. For start-ups employing staff for the first time and for small businesses without dedicated HR and payroll teams this isn’t always easy. It is crucial that someone takes on responsibility for ensuring they understand the process and that the business is meeting its obligations.
When auto-enrolment was introduced for many small businesses the cost of workplace pensions was a concern, but now it is often the time and additional workload of administering a scheme which proves problematic.
What do businesses need to do?
Understand how auto-enrolment works
All staff earning £10,000 or more a year and aged between 22 and state pension age must be auto-enrolled on a pension scheme. Individuals who do not wish to pay into a workplace pension are able to opt out if they wish but they must be enrolled by their employers in the first instance.
Those earning less than the threshold, such as part-time workers, or those under the age of 22 can request to join the scheme.
It is important that records are kept which demonstrate how a business is meeting its responsibilities and ensuring compliance. Records should include information about each individual on the scheme, payments into the scheme and any requests to opt-out or join. Records should be kept for a period of six years.
Manage requests to leave or join the scheme
Requests from staff to opt-out or to join the scheme should be actioned within a month of receiving a written request.
Every three years re-enrolment must take place. This means that staff who have previously opted out will need to be put back in the scheme after a three-year period has lapsed.
If you are taking on staff but are concerned about the admin and work involved in managing a pension scheme then get in touch.
As part of our Zodeq 360 services, we can provide end-to-end management of your pension scheme ensuring all your obligations are met and your employees receive clear information regarding their pension, contributions and how their take-home pay will be affected. We will also ensure that any changes to pension legislation and increases in contributions are met.