If you’ve missed your employer duties start date, don’t panic, it may still be possible to setup your workplace pension scheme with NOW: Pensions today.
By acting fast to meet your auto enrolment duties, it may be possible to avoid fines or enforcement action from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
Read our recommendations to ensure you get back on track with auto enrolment as quickly as possible.
1) Find out what your auto enrolment duties are
Your auto enrolment duties may not be as onerous as you think.
For many small businesses, the idea of setting up their company’s workplace pension scheme can be quite daunting, but it may take you less time than you think.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has an online ‘duty checker’ tool that enables businesses to instantly find out what their auto enrolment duties are and how long it will take them to go through the process.
Click here for the TPR Duty Checker. You’ll need your letter code from TPR and your PAYE reference.
2) Select a pension scheme provider carefully
If you’ve missed your employer duties start date not all pension scheme providers will take you on, but don’t let this stop you from being selective and ensuring the scheme you choose meets your requirements.
3) Understand what ‘postponement’ means
You can postpone ‘assessing’ your staff for their eligibility to be auto enrolled into a pension scheme but the date your legal duties started remains the date your duties apply from. It is set in law and is the date that an employer’s automatic enrolment duties apply to them.
You can choose to postpone assessing as many or as few workers as you like for up to three months after your employer duties start date (and the length of postponement doesn’t have to be the same for all workers). But, you have to notify any staff you are postponing within six weeks of your employer duties start date, otherwise postponement is deemed null and void.
At the end of the postponement period, you will need to check that the members of staff you have postponed are still eligible for auto enrolment. If they are, you must put them into a pension scheme straight away; you won’t be able to postpone for any longer.
4) Back payments
If you’ve missed your employer duties start date TPR will ask you to make up for the months when you haven’t been compliant with auto enrolment by enrolling your employees into a pension scheme and backdating contributions to the day that they first met the age and earnings criteria to be put into a scheme. Your worker should be put back in the position they would have been if you had complied on time. Your worker can decide whether or not to pay their own backdated contributions.
5) Don’t miss your Declaration of Compliance deadline
Five months after your staging date or duty start date is your Declaration of Compliance deadline. This is a legal duty for all employers and is the formal process of proving that you are meeting your auto enrolment duties. It is an online form and failure to complete the declaration may result in TPR issuing a fine or taking enforcement action.
6) Alert The Pensions Regulator
TPR want to help businesses meet their auto enrolment duties. If you’ve missed your employer duties start date get in touch with TPR. They can provide guidance and it might prevent them from issuing a compliance notice or fine.
NOW: Pensions takes on clients that have missed their employer duties start date and is happy to provide assistance about how to meet your auto enrolment duties. You can contact us by telephoning NOW: Pensions on 0330 10 03 336.