As most readers will know, the law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff has new responsibilities, including enrolling those who are eligible into a workplace pension scheme and contributing to it. This is called ‘pensions automatic enrolment’.
It is ‘automatic’ enrolment because it is automatic for staff but it is not automatic for the employer. Employers need to take steps to ensure that their eligible staff are enrolled into a pension scheme and one of the first steps for the employer will be to set up a pension scheme into which contributions can be made.
The Pensions Regulator (“TPR”) has issued guidance aimed at the 1.3 million small and micro employers who are currently preparing for pensions auto enrolment.
The aim of this guidance is to help employers find a good quality pension scheme. Research by TPR suggests that one in five (290,000) employers will not seek independent financial advice when choosing a pension scheme, while one in ten (130,000) do not know how to select a scheme, or think it will be difficult.
The guidance includes access to a list of ‘master trust’ pension schemes open to employers of all sizes, and which have been independently reviewed to help to demonstrate that they are administered to a high standard. TPR has also made available a quick guide for small and micro employers on what to look out for when choosing a scheme suited to their needs.
Quick Guide (please click on this link for more detail on selecting a pension scheme)
We recommend however that guidance is sought from an Independent Financial advisor (“IFA”) to assist employers through the auto enrolment process and to recommend suitable schemes. We are providing this service to clients through Muras Baker Jones Financial Services Limited and suggest that employers contact our advisor Mark Underwood for more information.
We recommend this is done as soon as possible and well before the employers ‘staging date’ being the date from which auto enrolment is required. Although staging dates are staggered, with larger employers staging first, as more smaller employers are required to stage access to advisers will become limited as demand outstrips supply.
Mark Underwood can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on the number below.
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