If you’re running a small business you will have heard from the Pensions Regulator about your staging date for auto-enrolment.

Although the Government gave SMEs extra leeway there is evidence that some businesses have still not taken action. Time is running out if you are to avoid penalties and unlawfully leave your employees without a pension.

The process starts by nominating a primary point of contact (usually a partner, director or someone else in a senior position) and a secondary contact who’ll handle the day-to-day operation of the scheme. It is important to remember that you can be hit with penalties of at least £50 a day or even more if you’ve failed to act, so it is imperative to act now.

Here’s what an employer needs to do and how Morris Lane can help:

  1. Define and set-up your scheme.
  2. Assess your employees for eligibility.
  3. Send letters to all your workers, providing details of the scheme, the contributions that will be made and the start date.
  4. Enrol all employees into the scheme.
  5. Manage those who opt-out and provide timely refunds.
  6. Enrol new joiners as well as postponements.
  7. Calculate and pay over contributions.
  8. Complete an auto-enrolment declaration of compliance, within five months of the scheme starting.
  9. Ensure records are kept up to date.
  10. Automatically re-enrol all eligible job holders every three years.

To be ‘eligible’ in the eyes of the Regulator, an employee must be over 22, but under the state pension age, and earning more than £10,000 per year. It is possible, however, for other people to choose to join the scheme and, as an employer, you may still have to make contributions.

If you have fewer than 30 staff, your staging date will depend on your PAYE reference and will range from 1 June 2015 to 1 April 2017.

Whatever your situation, get the ball rolling now by contacting Phil Rogers at Morris Lane on 01202 715950 ( to find out exactly how Morris Lane can help.

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