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The new pension provisions of the came into effect this week. Thus, from 1st October, depending on the number of employees in your organisation, you will have to auto-enrol eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme.
Each employer will be given a date by the Pensions Regulator from which they must auto-enrol – this is known as your ‘staging date’.
From this date, you will have to auto-enrol eligible employees in a pension scheme when they reach the income tax threshold, although contributions will only kick-in from the employee threshold for national insurance contributions.
You will be allowed to operate a three-month postponement window for all employees so that employees on short-term contracts do not need to be auto-enrolled into the pension scheme. They can, however, choose to voluntarily opt-in during this postponement period.
Your staging date will be based on the number of employees in your PAYE scheme as at 1st April 2012. Those companies with 120,000 or more employees will need to auto-enrol immediately; the staging date moves further into the future the fewer the number of employees.
As far as Turnstone’s clients are concerned, the earliest staging date will be 1st May 2014 and, for the majority of our clients, the date will be somewhere between 1st April 2015 and 1st April 2017 – click here to see where your staging date falls.
Therefore, for all of our clients, there is no need to panic. However, we do need to start engaging with individual clients over the coming months to develop a time-line from now to auto-enrolment and to start to think about the ultimate impact on your business.
We plan to hold a seminar early in the New Year aimed at our clients (and other small businesses) in order to make business owners more aware of their obligations and the practicalities under the Pensions Reform Act. We will also explain the various key definitions such as eligible employee, qualifying scheme and opting out.
We will be working closely together with an Independent Financial Advisor throughout the coming months on the issue of pensions so that we can give our clients the best possible advice. This means that Turnstone can discuss all the employment issues associated with the Act whilst the IFA will provide good financial advice.
We will write to all clients in due course to advise the details of the seminar.