Auto enrolment, are you ready?

Auto enrolment, are you ready?

Although auto enrolment staging has been happening for around a year and a half we are now moving into the phase affecting companies with 250 employees or fewer.  The impact of this is many more organisations than ever before will find themselves trying to cope with this legislation.  Almost all will need to change operational processes, many will need to change payroll systems, and some may just not have a clue what to do or where to begin!  In their latest blog, one pensions provider states that those who have been through staging are just the tip of the, proverbial, iceberg. The largest employers went first in an attempt to ease in the process.  However the largest employees in schemes to date reportedly only collectively make up 3 million employees from 10,000 companies. Between now and the end of the staging process a further 30,000 organisations need to establish suitable processes to assess, and where appropriate enrol, all their employees.

Managing opt outs is thought to be trickier for smaller operations than larger businesses and, whereas larger employers probably have the staff to deal with the issues or can simply outsource, smaller businesses might be concerned about the additional costs.  When it comes to running the assessments workplace pension auto enrolment isn’t a one off check of all employees, it needs to be a continual process.  Every time payroll runs the eligibility of employees, not already enrolled, needs to be checked.  Every time someone is opted in there has to be a process to deal with their opt out (if chosen).  Opt out communication needs to be worded correctly and be impartial - anything that could be seen as inducing opt out may be deemed something the employer could be fined for.  When an employee opts out that employee has to be re-assessed after three years, in accordance with legislation. It’s a lot for a smaller employer to cope with in house.

What can help is outsourcing payroll to a company like Safe who know how to process employee data correctly for pension auto enrolment.  Safe processes auto enrolment processes within the payroll solution negating any need for third party ‘middleware’ to make the assessment.  Safe offers two service options: - a fully managed payroll provided by Safe Outsourcing or a software as a service (SaaS) model using Safe’s flagship payroll product Safe EMS.  Both of these options are charged on a pay as you go basis, helping smaller businesses budget for and manage costs.  Safe integrate with Now:Pensions and Nest pension providers (and many other providers too), who can help businesses establish a suitable scheme and provide the legally compliant and suitably impartial employee communications necessary.  

Speak to Safe about how they can help your business on 0844 583 2134, email info@safecomputing.co.uk, or visit www.safe-ems.co.uk or www.safeoutsourcing.co.uk to find out more.

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