The Pensions Act of 2011, which came in to force in October 2012, made a significant change to workplace pensions.
The Act made it compulsory for all employers to provide workplace pensions, whereas previously this had been optional. According to the department of Work and Pensions, “For the first time employers are required by law to automatically enrol all eligible workers into a workplace pension and make a contribution to it”. Employees will be entitled to opt out from the scheme, but not employers.
The change is being phased in over a period of five years (2012 – 2017), with start dates – known as “staging dates” – dependent on the number of employees in a given company as of April 2012. Larger to medium-sized companies have already started the auto-enrolment process.
However, the process has now reached the stage where small businesses, specifically companies with less than 50 employees, need to take note. Such companies will have had a staging date assigned for any time between April 2015 and April 2017.
Therefore, if your company falls in to the sub-50 employees bracket, you need to find out your staging date ASAP – it could be coming sooner than you think.
The following is an indication as to when the staging date is going to be for your company:
Medium employers (50-249 workers) – staging date between April 2014 and April 2015
Small employers (49 workers or less) – staging date between June 2015 and April 2017
New employers (established after April 2012) – staging date between May 2017 and February 2018
As an employer you will need to make sure you’re prepared for your particular staging date. So please contact us to find out your exact staging date or if you have any further queries.