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Auto-enrolment – not too early to act now!
Every employer has new legal duties to help their workers in the UK save for retirement. The largest employers have begun to automatically enrol workers and thousands more employers will reach their staging dates, the date when their duties apply, in the next year alone.
Automatic enrolment has been designed to overcome the fact that many workers have been missing out on valuable pension benefits because they didn’t apply to join their employer’s scheme, or their employer didn’t offer them access to a workplace scheme.
Laws came into effect on 1 July 2012 prohibiting employers from inducing or offering incentives to their staff to abandon retirement saving.
The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pensions. The regulator provides a range of information available to help employers get to grips with their new duties, from interactive tools and letter templates to help employers communicate with their workers, to guidance explaining the duties in detail.
The key lesson of the first months of automatic enrolment is that employers need to allow plenty of time to prepare. The regulator estimates it can take up to 18 months to get set to comply.
It’s important to find out when your staging date is and not to underestimate how long it will take to be ready for it. Employers can find out more about their staging date by using a tool on the regulator’s website: www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers/tools/staging-date.aspx
The regulator has detailed the main steps to automatic enrolment – the first of which is for an employer to nominate a point of contact.
If your staging date is less than 18 months away, you should have received a letter from the regulator with a unique letter code. The regulator will be contacting you with important updates as you prepare for automatic enrolment.
From the first waves of employers to stage it has become clear how important it is to make sure these updates get to the right person in an organisation. You can use your letter code to nominate a point of contact on the regulator’s website: https://forms.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/workplacepensionsreform/nominate.aspx
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