Automatic Enrolment: Regulator warns small businesses


Automatic Enrolment: Regulator warns small businessesThe Pensions Regulator has warned that hundreds of thousands of small business do not know their Automatic Enrolment Staging Date and risk failing to comply with the new rules.

Over the next few years all businesses will have to enrol their staff into a pension scheme; the exact date by which firms must comply is known as their Staging Date. However, new research has shown that many employers don’t know their Staging Date, leading to concerns that they will fail to comply with the new rules.

The research published today shows:

  • 20% of small employers do not know their Staging Date
  • This figure rises to 50% of micro employers

The Pensions Regulator recommends employers should allocate 12 months to prepare for Automatic Enrolment. A firm which does not know its Staging Date therefore runs a greater risk of non-compliance and being hit with a financial penalty.

Executive Director of Automatic Enrolment, Charles Counsell, said: “Too many small and micro employers still don’t know when their Staging Date is. While we write to employers 12 months ahead of that date, it is important for them to check if they need to be ready by next summer – or later. The easiest way to do this is by using the staging date tool on the regulator’s website.”

How can you find out your Staging Date?

A firm’s Staging Date is based on the number of people on their payroll on 1st April 2012.

The simplest way of confirming your business’s Staging Date, or indeed the date by which your employer must comply, is to enter your PAYE reference number into the Pensions Regulator’s calculator, which can be found by clicking here.

Penalties for non-compliance

Firms who don’t comply with Automatic Enrolment legislation face stiff penalties, including:

  • A fixed penalty notice for non-compliance of up to £400
  • An escalating penalty notice, again for non-compliance, of between £50 and £10,000 per day, depending on the number of employees you have
  • A civil penalty notice, where contributions are not paid, of up to £5,000 for individuals and £50,000 for companies
  • A bill the missing contributions backdated to the Staging Date

6 facts you need to know about your Staging Date

We recently published the six key facts all employers need to know about their Staging Date.

To discover what they are, click here.

We’re here to help

If you run a small or micro business and have questions about Automatic Enrolment we are here to help.

Our team of advisers are highly knowledgeable and experienced and have successfully helped many businesses comply with the new rules.

Call one of our team today on 0115 933 8433, alternatively email