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Businesses need more support to comply with auto-enrolment

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The stats from Creative Auto Enrolment found that just one in four business decision makers felt they had enough information from the Government in order to prepare for the changes.

Under the new rules most employers need to automatically enrol their staff into workplace pensions unless they opt out. By April 2015, around 8,000 businesses sized between 50 and 249 employees will have to have their workers enrolled onto a workplace pension.

Lack of understanding was cited as the biggest reason for failing to comply (36 per cent) followed by a lack of resources (30 per cent) and time (25 per cent).

The survey also found that 5,000 businesses risk unwittingly breaking the law by telling their employees to opt-out of a pension.

David White, MD of Creative Auto Enrolment, said: “This is serious business. Companies face fines and legal investigations if they get auto enrolment wrong and The Pensions Regulator has threatened that employers need to do the right thing or it will “come after” them.

“However, everything we are hearing tells us that many are mishandling the process because they are ill-informed. It’s unfair to hand out penalties to companies that haven’t received adequate information and guidance in order to prepare for auto enrolment.”

Separate figures released earlier this week by Sage showed that one in five small firms is not currently preparing for auto enrolment at all. Almost than half said they were concerned about the cost of implementing it and 17 per cent are worried that the size of their company would prevent them getting a competitive rate.

Lee Perkins, MD of Sage UKI’s Small Business Division, said: “There are a worrying number of businesses who told us they fear they will have to take uncompetitive rates for their pension scheme because of their business size. The reality is, by planning early this risk can be reduced.”

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