Over a third of small firms planning well ahead for auto enrolment but equal proportion leaving it late

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For immediate release: 18 October 2016

Of the companies that signed up with workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions in the third quarter of 2016, over a third (38%), signed up six months or more ahead of their staging date. But, an almost equal percentage (37%) signed up either very close to their staging date, or after their staging date deadline had passed.

Of the employers who left it late, 19% contacted NOW: Pensions within a month of their staging date whilst 18% left it until after their staging date had passed.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 9% of firms left a clear three to six months ahead of their staging date, whilst 5% signed up two to three months in advance. One in 10 (10%) left it until one to two months ahead of the deadline.

Months to staging date Q4 2015 Q1 2016 Q2 2016 Q3 2016
6 or more 13% 13% 34% 38%
3 – 6 36% 36% 11% 9%
2 – 3 6% 6% 5% 5%
1 – 2 9% 9% 10% 10%
Within a month before staging 21% 21% 19% 19%
After staging date 16% 16% 21% 18%


*Percentages subject to rounding

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “It’s encouraging to see that so many small firms are taking their auto enrolment duties seriously and planning well in advance. The messages from the regulator are clearly getting through. But, at the other end of the spectrum, a lot of firms are still burying their heads in the sand.

Small business owners have a lot to think about and it’s easy for auto enrolment to be put on the back burner, but the fines for non-compliance are steep and missing the deadline can cause unnecessary sleepless nights.

Auto enrolment is complicated so the longer firms leave 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:

Amy Mankelow

NOW: Pensions

Tel: 0203 640 9075



Cheriton Lee

NOW: Pensions

Tel: 0203 826 1464



NOW: Pensions www.nowpensions.com @nowpensions

Notes to editors

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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NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions.
Martin Woods, SALT.agency