When is my Staging Date?
The Pensions Regulator’s (the regulator) recently published a Survey of preparedness for Auto-enrolment, which indicates that only 30% of employers staging in 2016 & 2017 know their Staging Date.
Given that over 500,000 employers are set to Stage during 2016 this suggests that a large number of employers are unprepared for Auto-enrolment. This substantial increase in the number of employers going through Staging is likely to put significant pressure on the infrastructure of all providers. All indications from the key providers are that resources are likely to be severely stretched. This problem is likely to be compounded by employers who don’t take action until the last minute.
Any employer in this position is likely run the risk of falling foul of the legislation. This will raise the risk of regulator intervention, which at the very least will distract business owners from running their business and could ultimately result in fines being imposed.
For its part the regulator has been writing to all employers well in advance of their Staging Date. Indeed Corporate Benefits have already received two letters requesting the nomination of a contact to receive Auto-enrolment correspondence. It is essential that on receipt of these letters employers act appropriately. You should also ensure you retain such correspondence as it contains important information that you will need when it comes to registering your Workplace Pension Scheme.
Receipt of the letter should also be the point at which you start to think about how you are going to comply with the legislation. The legislation is extremely complex so it is important that you have a clear understanding of how it impacts on you. At the very least you should start to think about Auto-enrolment six months before your staging date. This should give you plenty of time for a stress free process.