Auto-enrolment: Top five tips for small firms

3. Seek help

For small firms introducing a workplace pension for the first time, it would be worth seeking guidance from an adviser who can help identify a value for money scheme that is suited to the workforce.

While selecting an appropriate scheme is imperative, payroll providers also have a very important role to play. Companies with outsourced payroll arrangements should contact their payroll provider as soon as possible to find out what auto enrolment support they offer and which pension providers they work with. 

By selecting a pension provider that is already integrated with their payroll provider, firms can avoid unnecessary hassle and expense. So making enquiries early on is time well spent.

4. Cleanse your data

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the auto enrolment process is inaccurate or incomplete payroll data. 

Taking the time to ensure that payroll data is complete and entirely up to date, will help avoid problems during the implementation process and beyond. Where possible, companies should try and obtain e-mail addresses for all staff as issuing communications about auto enrolment via email is often cheaper and more efficient than post.

5. Give thought to contributing more than the minimum

Nearly one in five small and medium sized companies we surveyed say they plan to contribute more than the legislative minimum when they introduce auto enrolment.

More than half of those planning to pay more in believe doing so will help with the recruitment and retention of employees. This approach makes sense as high levels of staff turnover can act as a hidden drain on an employer’s profitability.

Auto enrolment is a legal obligation and at the end of January, The Pensions Regulator issued 166 businesses with fixed penalties of ?400 for non-compliance.

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