Auto-enrolment was introduced by the government and requires every employer in the UK to set up a workplace pension scheme and enrol their staff into this scheme, as well as contribute to their employee’s pension.
Frequently Asked Questions
A useful list of answers to the most common questions we get asked about auto-enrolment
Government research had suggested that too few people weren’t saving enough money for retirement, relying on the state pension instead. This caused the government to introduce laws requiring every employer to set up a workplace pension scheme.
Employers must automatically enrol certain employees into the workplace pension. An employee qualifies for auto-enrolment if they:
- are aged between 22 and State Pension age
- earn more than £10,000 a year
- work in the UK
Employees contribute a percentage of their pay into the workplace pension scheme. The employer, as well as the government, also must contribute a set percentage to the employee’s pension pot.
Your staging date is the date by which you must have completed the necessary steps to set up a workplace pension scheme. Staging dates depend on the size of the company. Some companies staged as early as 2012, yet some smaller and recently incorporated companies are still yet to reach their staging date. If you are unsure of when your staging date is, you can find out on The Pensions Regulator’s website
As an employer, you’ve got the most work to do. Put simply, you’ll have to assess your workers for eligibility, set up a workplace pension scheme, ‘auto-enrol’ workers into this pension scheme and contribute to it. You’ll have to submit a declaration of compliance to The Pensions Regulator, too. Once you’ve done this, there’s plenty more to do. You must work with payroll to make contributions into your scheme every pay cycle, take care of opt ins, opt outs, leavers and joiners and finally, there’s re-enrolment to be completed every 3 years.
This pension scheme will have to be chosen from a group of qualifying workplace pension schemes, some of which were designed specifically for auto-enrolment, such as Nest. There is a range of different workplace pension schemes to choose from. These pension schemes vary in cost, management charges and fund choice, and it’s important to make sure you are choosing the most suitable scheme for your employees.
Setting up a workplace pension scheme is a long and complicated process with a steep learning curve. The first part of the process is scheme setup and administration. Once you’ve completed every step of this, you can complete your declaration of compliance. However, there are still many more responsibilities that auto-enrolment requires employers to complete. You must process your payroll and assign contributions every pay cycle, process joiners, opt ins, opt outs, joiners, leavers and keep up with the regulator’s compliance updates and law changes.
Unless you are a pensions specialist, these tasks can take days to complete and you will have the responsibility of maintaining your pension scheme. You risk a trade off between pensions administration and running your business. Workplace Pensions Direct provide a complete, end-to-end workplace pension solution, and take on every part of your auto-enrolment responsibilities, guaranteeing your compliance with the law.
We aim to save you the cost of our fees, many times over. Auto-enrolment is all we do. Our experts have decades of experience in the pensions industry, and we have processed thousands of workplace pension schemes. We know all the hidden nooks and crannies to uncover you huge cost savings.
Firstly, we deliver direct cost savings to the employer. We do this mainly through scheme design, to keep the contribution cost for your business as low as possible. We also keep employer pension charges levied by pension providers low, through our scheme selection process and negotiated discounts. Also, there is an indirect cost saving for the employer, as your time is better spent doing your real job. Also, payroll professionals find working with Workplace Pensions Direct to be easier than other business advisers, and often this results in them reducing their charges.
Secondly, we deliver direct cost savings to the employee. We do this through scheme selection to minimise the annual management and contribution charges, and default fund selection to deliver the best risk-adjusted returns. We exclude pension schemes in our selection process where employees would indirectly pay for employer advice. It’s important for employer and employee alike that every pound invested gives the best possible return for the member.
Workplace Pensions Direct have broken down the steps to auto-enrolment compliance into 22 tasks. Professor Iain Clacher at Leeds University provides the latest estimate of how long these tasks take for an employer to complete as 20 days (September 2015). Standard Life estimates that if a business adviser was to complete all these tasks on your behalf, they would take between 20 and 40 hours to complete. WPD has invested heavily in an industry leading back office system to automate the majority of these tasks. The time taken by you on the phone to WPD is just 90 minutes: initially to explain the process, when reviewing costings, when reviewing scheme design and when reviewing scheme selection.
Our clients don’t risk a fine. WPD is clear about which automatic enrolment tasks we will and won’t do for you. The best way to do this is to have a project plan – an agreement in place with us setting out clearly who will do what. This includes choosing a qualifying workplace pension scheme, working out who to put into a scheme, and setting up payroll. Pension advisers can help with pension tasks. Payroll advisers can help with payroll tasks. WPD will help you – and your payroll – with each and every auto-enrolment task from start to finish. With ongoing training and support from experts with experience, we remove as much of the workload as we can for everyone. From the very start of your duties, right through to ongoing duties forevermore, WPD will act as your project planner from beginning to end. We take care of the whole process. This means that before and after scheme setup is complete, we’ll ensure all your auto-enrolment duties and obligations are met.