When auto enrolment began in 2012, the Government set out a timetable of staging dates that meant employers of all sizes were told to start enrolling their staff into workplace pensions.
The first to enrol in 2012 were the larger employers – those with 250 members or more – and this progressed down to those with 30 or less in 2017, ending with brand new or recently set up companies by 2018. These dates were set in place by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to ensure that every company in the UK would comply with their auto enrolment duties.
But, when we analysed our most recent 2016 staging trends, we revealed that Q4 had the highest recorded figure of late staging, with 41% of companies that signed up either very close or after their staging date deadline had passed. Of the employers who left it too late, 19% contacted NOW: Pensions within a month of their staging date whilst over one in five (22%) left it until after their staging date had passed.
An improvement in planning 6 months or more ahead of their staging date
At the other end of the spectrum however, in Q3 and Q4 respectively, over a third (38%) were planning a clear 6 months or more ahead of their staging date; a stark increase from Q1 where just over one in ten (13%) were sorting their auto enrolment duties in advance.
Whilst it’s encouraging to see so many small firms are taking their auto enrolment duties seriously and planning well in advance, the messages from The Pensions Regulator are clearly getting through. But, there are still a growing number of firms that are burying their head in the sand.
We recommend that you start planning for your staging date 12 months in advance, in order to ensure that you’re fully prepared. Auto enrolment is complicated but don’t fear, at NOW: Pensions, we aim to make this journey for you as simple and efficient as possible.
For guidance on what to do if you’ve missed your staging date click here.