Missed Your Staging Date?
Get back on track and avoid fines
You will have to act fast – for whatever reason you missed your auto enrolment staging date, or are in danger of missing it, you will want to become compliant as soon as possible. If not, you run the risk of being fined by The Pensions Regulator. Illness, being short-staffed and confusion between employers and their advisers over who is doing what are not good enough excuses.
Henderson Stone are a pleasure to work with. Their friendly, professional advisers make the complexities of auto-enrolment seem simple. It felt like we were in a safe pair of hands and our company pension was set-up quickly and easily. Anne Ward, Managing Director, The Newspaper Club, Glasgow
Employer Obligations & Options
A quick guide to the obligations that you, as an employer, will be expected to fulfil on behalf of your company. Use this as a guide to help you prepare for auto enrolment…
Action to Take
1. Work out how long you’ve missed your staging date by:
Less than six weeks
If it is less than six weeks you can delay assessing and enrolling your staff into a pension scheme by using a ‘postponement’, allowing you to postpone auto enrolment for up to 3 months. You must write to all your employees telling them you are postponing – if you don’t issue these notifications within the six week period you will lose your right to postpone. You should also be aware that the postponement does not change your staging date.
More than six weeks
After six weeks the option to postpone is lost to the employer. The original staging date stands and you must ensure (once you have a pension scheme in place) that your employees are put in a position no worse than had they been enrolled at the correct time. The Pensions Regulator must also be satisfied with the outstanding contributions you have paid.
2. Call The Pensions Regulator
Call The Pensions Regulator to tell them what has happened and that you are now in the process of setting up a pension scheme. They will also want to know who your pension provider is as soon as you have made your choice.
3. Organise a pension provider/Check your current provider
You will need to find a workplace pension provider that is right for you. If you already have a pension scheme in place then check if this will qualify. Finding a pension provider to suit you and your business is an important decision and you should look at different schemes before deciding which is most suitable for you and your staff. There are a number of things you should check before you choose a pension scheme. This includes whether it will accept all your staff, how much it will cost, whether it uses the best tax relief method for your staff and whether it will work with your payroll. Any scheme you choose should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
4. Submit your declaration of compliance
Regardless of whether you have used postponement or not, you will need to submit a declaration of compliance to The Pensions Regulator within five months of your initial staging date.
5. Make up for what you missed
Once you’ve missed your staging date you will be asked to make up for the period missed.
Under three months:
You will be asked to make up any outstanding employer contributions due to employees from the date they should have been enrolled.
Over three months:
You will more than likely have to pay for the employee part of the pension contribution as well as your employer contribution. You may also be made to pay interest on top of those contributions.
Fast Track Solution
If you’re running out of time
We offer a Fast-Track Solution for companies who urgently require assistance. We have already helped a number of companies avoid fixed penalties for non-compliance from The Pensions Regulator.
If you need urgent auto enrolment advice call Colin Giffen anytime on 07710 498258.