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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Why do we insist on having a choice of fund manager when the evidence shows there is usually no benefit to be gained…and there is always a negative impact in terms of cost? — Anthony Hilton financial editor of the Evening Standard writing in Pensions World, June 2013
NOW: Pensions' risk management and diversified growth fund are state of the art. — Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income Barclays Global Investors
Over a short period of time, NOW: Pensions has established itself as a respected and credible player in the UK workplace pensions market attracting thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of members. Joining the team at such a crucial time… — Jocelyn Blackwell, Founder of Dunnett Shaw and Raising Standards in Pensions Administration
...its simple design means the pressure is taken off us as the employer and avoids costly administration charges, whilst removing the burden of choice and ensuring the best possible retirement outcome for our employees. — Matthew Johnson, Head of Compensation and Benefits at Adecco Group UK & Ireland
NOW: Pensions is supportive, easy for our employees to understand and uncomplicated in terms of its implementation. Its structured approach removes the complicated investment choices & makes auto-enrolment a straightforward and simple process. — Mark Manaton, Managing Director, Blue Arrow Group