Small businesses urged to act on auto enrolment or risk fines

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The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is warning small and micro businesses to get on top of their auto enrolment obligations for 2016 or risk fines.

It has sent letters to employers, letting them know when their auto enrolment staging dates and their duties start from.

TPR said it expects smaller employers will leave it too late to prepare or not act at all, so it’s trying to warn people early enough. It’s suggesting employers should start thinking about auto enrolment a year in advance.

Executive director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said: “We are concerned that a minority of smaller employers are leaving things too late and struggling to comply on time. We are helping employers avoid this by alerting them in good time to their duties and giving them the tools they need to meet them.”

TPR has recommended businesses to start planning using its online duties checker which is part of a new online step-by-step guide which tells employers specifically what duties apply to them.

It adds that while not all employers will have staff who need to be put into a pension scheme, they will still have duties to tell staff about automatic enrolment and complete a declaration of compliance.

Even if you don’t employ anyone but do get a letter, you should still tell TPR. If you don’t you could “trigger unnecessary compliance action”.

It regularly publishes research into how auto enrolment is being received among businesses who have staged. Businesses are being brought into the auto enrolment legislation net in stages, depending on size and other criteria, until 2018.

Despite criticism from media and the public, TPR’s bringing its furry character Workie back with another advertising campaign. Last year, it launched a large, multi-coloured animated creature to head up the ‘you can’t ignore the workplace pension’ marketing campaign on TV, social media and the sides of buses.

About Rachael Power


Small Business Editor,

I write practical and actionable advice for small businesses, entrepreneurs and pre-startups. 



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