Last week Bond Williams hosting a highly successful HR event at the Menzies Carlton Hotel Bournemouth, where Teresa Wood of Blue Sky Financial Consultant spoke to our members about the imminent workplace pension scheme.
The Government estimate that around 7 million people in the UK are not saving for their pensions, so from October 2012 they are implementing new legislation in order to encourage people to save for their future. From October, any UK employer who employs at least one person must register them with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and provide details of their workforce and any pension scheme which they’ll use to satisfy the employer duties.
The employer duties will be introduced in stages from October 2012. The date your employer duties will first apply is known as your staging date and it’s based on the number of people in the largest PAYE scheme on 1 April 2012 —companies with fewer employees will be assigned later dates. Companies will receive 12 months notice of their staging dates, although larger companies will be given 18 months notice, and a 3 month reminder.
Employers will have different responsibilities for different types of employees, depending on age and annual income, and will have a variety of options when it comes to instituting this scheme. These new employer duties are certainly not optional though, and you could incur large fines and even imprisonment for failing to comply. TPR will be responsible for ensuring that you comply with your employer duties and their approach will be to educate and encourage compliance.
As well as informing our member on the ins and outs of the pension reform Teresa Wood also recommended a programme that could help you (the employer) with the running of this scheme.
Implementing this new legislation will inevitably mean a fair amount of extra work for an employer, as they try to get to grips with the new system. Once the scheme has been implemented, they will also need to ensure that it runs smoothly and that they remain compliant.
Scottish Life is the first company to offer a new service to assist you in complying with the legislation, giving you peace of mind. Their service will apply the rules of the scheme to assess the types of worker you have and will tell you what you have to do to meet your employer duties for each type. Furthermore, it will communicate with your workers, and let you know what decision they have taken on pension contributions. Finally, it will also assist with the added administration associated with altering your payroll file.