Pensions auto-enrolment: what does this mean for businesses?

By Clare Gilroy-Scott

Wide-ranging pension reforms were introduced by the Pensions Act 2008 and came into force on 30 June 2012. All UK employers will be required to auto-enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme and make mandatory contributions, in a process staged over several years.

The process is not a simple one, as evidenced by the 12 guidance notes produced by the Pensions Regulator. Furthermore, the guidance notes are aimed at pensions professionals rather than the employing business. So what does the new system mean for you, as an employer? The following is a broad outline of the requirements.

The new duties will apply to your business from a ‘staging date’ assigned by the DWP, and this will depend upon the size of your PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012. If you operate more than one PAYE scheme, your staging date will be determined by your largest PAYE scheme on that date. For example, you are likely to have two PAYE schemes if you are an employment business supplying PAYE temps to clients, and your temp payroll scheme may be larger than the PAYE scheme of your own employees…

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