Half of SMEs not ready as auto-enrolment deadlines loom

Nearly half of employers required to set up a pension scheme for their staff in the next two years remain in the dark about their responsibilities, according to a survey.

More than a million small businesses will need to ensure employees are in a workplace pension scheme, under the government’s auto-enrolment plan.

The deadlines for conforming to the rules pick up rapidly this month.

But the survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that 45% of those asked were confused about the rules and their responsibilities, according to the BBC.

Some 25% of those surveyed also feared that their business might not be able to cope with the extra cost.

Since 2012, 5.4 million workers have been signed up to a workplace pension under the auto-enrolment programme.

It has been implemented in stages, with eventually all employers required to offer pensions to anyone who is over the age of 22 and who earns more than £10,000 a year.

Last year the government launched a major advertising campaign featuring Workie – a 10ft hairy monster – aimed at ensuring small businesses pay attention to the new rules.

The FSB said such a campaign was vital, as awareness of the rules had been so low. The federation also welcomed improved information on the website of the Pensions Regulator.

“Our message for small employers is auto-enrolment is coming and will affect your business – and the sooner you get to grips with what you need to do, the better off you will be,” said John Allan, FSB national chairman.

“Most of the businesses which have already set up a work place pension told us they found the process fairly straightforward, but we know many remain concerned about their ability to cope. These businesses should feel reassured that there is plenty of information and support available to help them through this process.”

The FSB also said that employees should pay attention to their rights, and ensure they are being given the appropriate pension provision and contributions.

Petaurum Solutions’ Comment

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Our Defaqto 5* quality Carey Master Trust Pension Scheme, 
comes with best in class assessment and communication software and is part of our SME specific, competitively priced end-to-end solution that will take care of the above, leaving you free to manage your business safe in the knowledge that your Auto Enrolment obligations are in professional hands.  Want to know more?  Then feel free to download our info pack Auto Enrolment here, or contact us to secure your PAE future.

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