Increasing number of small firms miss their auto enrolment deadline

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03 May 2017

Of the companies that signed up with workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions in the first quarter of 2017, nearly half (46%) signed up either very close to or after their staging date deadline had passed – the highest number ever recorded. One in four firms (25%) actually missed the deadline, up from less than one in five (18%) in Q3 2016. One in five (21%) contacted NOW: Pensions within a month of the staging date.

At the other end of the spectrum, around a third (35%) of small firms had planned a clear 6 months or more ahead of their staging date.

Months to staging date Q3 2016 Q4 2016 Q1 2017
6 or more 38% 38% 35%
3 – 6 9% 10% 7%
2 – 3 5% 4% 5%
1 – 2 10% 8% 8%
Within a month before staging 19% 19% 21%
After staging date 18% 22% 25% 

*Percentages subject to rounding

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “There are an estimated 700,000 new businesses to stage until the end of auto enrolment in April 2018. It’s clear from our figures that an increasing number of firms are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to their auto enrolment duties.

“This can be costly, as The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has begun to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to employers who miss their staging date deadline, which left ignored, can escalate into a County Court Judgement (CCJ) and could negatively impact the company’s credit file and their ability to secure funding in the future.

“Our message to these employers is to plan well ahead, ideally up to 6 months before their staging date, as this will ensure enough time is given to comply with their auto enrolment duties as set out by TPR. Auto enrolment is complicated so the longer firms allow themselves to tackle it, the more confident and comfortable they’ll feel.”

For guidance on what to do if you’ve missed your staging date click here.

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For further information:

Cheriton Lee

NOW: Pensions

Tel: 0203 826 1464

cheriton.lee@nowpensions.com

 

Lauren Roberts

Lansons

Tel: 0207 566 9760

laurenr@lansons.com

 

Notes to editors

NOW: Pensions www.nowpensions.com @nowpensions

NOW: Pensions is one of the UK’s largest workplace pension providers with over a million members and tens of thousands of employers from a wide range of sectors. A subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest pension funds, Danish pension scheme ATP, NOW: Pensions entered the UK market in 2011 with a simple and cost effective workplace pension designed specifically with the auto enrolment market in mind.

NOW: Pensions was one of the first providers to achieve independent assurance of scheme quality in accordance with the master trust assurance framework (AAF02/07) introduced by The Pensions Regulator in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

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I've known ATP for many years and have enormous respect for the effectiveness of their investment strategy. I'm convinced that NOW: Pensions can become a major player in the UK and look forward to being a part of that success. — Chris Daykin, the former Government Actuary
Our broker recommended NOW: Pensions, as they believed it would be our best option. We have not been disappointed, the NOW: Pensions customer support teams are great and always available. — Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies Ltd
There is a need for a member-centric solution designed for ease of use with low costs and cutting edge investment strategy, which delivers long term stable returns. ATP's in-house investment capabilities, combined with our novel and innovative… — Lars Rohde, Governor of the National Bank of Denmark and Former CEO of ATP Group
I am backing NOW: Pensions, the ATP project, because I believe it will encourage transparency, low costs and decent returns for millions of British employees. — Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister
NOW: Pensions was attractive to us because the staff were very helpful and they sent over all the information required. This made the decision easy. — Metro Surveillance Group Ltd