Don’t underestimate the length of time it can take to collate all required data , if your chosen process includes changes to employees contracts this alone requires a 3 month consultation period. An early start is always recommended – ideally 6 to 12 months ahead of your staging date.
Assessing all relevant data, is time consuming. It involves assessing which employees are eligible, and which are not. This is not where it ends as these employees can still opt in to Auto Enrolment. These assessments are required each payroll period as pay may fluctuate above and below the threshold.
Ensure you are ready with all the answers employees may ask with regards to their auto enrolment, this will assist employees in making educated decisions on their pension contribution and their qualifying pension provider. Lack of knowledge may result in incorrect information given to employees, risking a breach in the regulations.
The pensions regulator stated that the majority of fines were given because people had either not submitted or incorrectly filled in their Declaration of Compliance. This is your chance to inform the pensions regulator you have staged and are now fully compliant.
Failure to comply will result in potentially severe consequences; The Pensions Regulator can issue notices imposing fixed penalties for non-compliance as well as escalating penalties which will accrue on a day-by-day basis until the employer’s non-compliance is remedied.
In certain situations, employers (and senior figures within the organisation) can also commit a criminal offence where there is a wilful failure to comply with the provisions of the Automatic Enrolment scheme.