The Government has announced that five million people have now been Automatically Enrolled into a workplace pension.
The 5th million person to be automatically enrolled turned out to be Siobhan Sharp, an employee of the Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames.
Commenting on the news Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, said: “The number of people saving into their workplace pension was chronically low. We are changing that so participating in a workplace pension scheme provided by your employer is no longer a rarity, but becomes the norm.”
Small and ‘micro’ employers need to plan carefully
The roll out of Automatic Enrolment started with large employers in 2012 but will reach smaller and ‘micro’ employers over the next couple of years.
Ultimately all employers, even if they only have one member of staff, will need to enrol all employees over the age of 21 and who earns more than £10,000 per year.
With thousands of smaller employers being forced to comply with the regulations over the course of the next three years, experts are warning of a ‘capacity crunch’. This could see pension providers turning away business and advisers inundated with enquiries from business owners.
The same experts are advising business owners to leave sufficient time to plan their Automatic Enrolment project and ensure they hit their Staging Date, thereby avoiding fines and penalties.
The Pensions Regulator’s Executive Director for Automatic Enrolment, Charles Counsell, echoed these concerns: “Automatic enrolment affects every employer with workers in the UK. It’s automatic for staff; they don’t have to do anything. But it’s not automatic for employers: they need to take steps to make sure certain workers are enrolled.
“More than 43,000 employers have automatically enrolled their staff into a pension and nearly half of them said they wished they had left more time as it took them longer than they thought. We encourage all employers, however small, to learn from the experience of other employers; leaving extra time is better than leaving it too late.”
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We have advisers who specialise in Automatic Enrolment and are highly experienced in helping employers hot their Staging Date.