Julie Smith
4 minutes length
Posted: 22nd July 2014

4 key auto enrolment responsibilities

Your clients will have a number of auto enrolment responsibilities they need to meet and are likely to seek advice and help from accountants on some or all of these matters.  By making sure you are prepared and have the information at your fingertips you can ensure you are a trusted auto enrolment advisor for both existing and new clients.

 1. Staging dates, postponement and deferment

 Clients may need your help to understand what their staging date will be and what this means for them in terms of what needs to be in place and when.  They may have questions about postponement and whether they are able to do this or may even be thinking about moving their staging date forwards.

What to do: Make sure you can easily find out staging dates for your clients and that you understand the legislative implications of things such as postponement.

2. Pension arrangements

Some clients may already have pension schemes in place and will want to understand if this scheme can be used for auto enrolment and what to do with employees already in pre-existing schemes.  Other clients may never have offered a pension scheme to their employees so will have no experience in dealing with pension companies and schemes.   

What to do: Make sure you know the criteria that a pension scheme must meet to qualify for auto enrolment and that you have a good understanding of the types of schemes available.

3. Assessment

This is a key area where accountants can add value to clients. Companies will find it difficult to work out which of their employees fall into the different auto enrolment categories and the actions they must take for each.  You can assess your clients workforce to know which employees need to be automatically enrolled and when.

What to do: Make sure you have suitable software in place so that you can assess each client’s workforce quickly and easily.  The correct software (such as the IRIS AE Module) will automate the process and ensure the correct employees are enrolled onto the automatic enrolment scheme.

4. Communication

It is a legal requirement for your clients to send communications to employees at each stage of the automatic enrolment process and this is another task that many companies will look to outsource. 

What to do: Again having the correct software in place will be vital so that communications can be generated at the touch of a button.  Communication software (such as IRIS OpenEnrol) will need to work hand-in-hand with employee assessment so that the right letters go to the right employees at the right time.

Accountants have a vital role to play in automatic enrolment and you can help to ensure your clients don’t face the penalties of non-compliance. 

IRIS recommends:  Contact your clients (and prospects) and see how you can help.  Don’t wait for your clients to contact you as it may be too late.  It is much easier to have a plan in place well before each client’s date then to try and rectify a situation once a staging date is already missed. 

How IRIS can help?

Auto Enrolment Legislation Training

The IRIS Understanding Automatic Enrolment Seminar will ensure you understand the legislation to help your clients.

Auto Enrolment SoftwareThe IRIS AE Suite™ will ensure you can easily assess your clients’ employees for automatic enrolment and then instantly send the correct communications to the correct employees.

 

If you provide any taxable benefits to employees then you must submit to HMRC a P11D form (or P9 for employees earning less than £8,500 per year) for each employee receiving benefits.  You must also submit one additional form, P11D (b), to declare the overall amount of Class 1A National Insurance contributions (NICs) due on all the expenses and benefits you’ve provided.
Examples of taxable benefits include:
Private medical insurance
Company cars
Gym membership
You must also provide a P11D form to each of your employees which details the benefits they have received over the year and tax due.
Time is of the essence!
The deadline for submissions is 6th July 2014 and payment of Class 1A NICs should reach HMRC by 22nd July.  The HMRC will impose fines for late submissions – currently £100 per 50 employees for each month or part month that a return remains outstanding.  
Submitting returns
Many companies ignore their P11Ds as they are unsure what to do and how to go about working out the tax that is due for each employee but with the fines mentioned above you could end up with a nasty surprise by not staying on top of this once a year task.
The fastest, easiest and most secure way to submit your returns is electronically.  Quality of returns is extremely important to ensure they are not rejected by HMRC.  Using a specially designed software such as IRIS P11D Organiser will ensure that the often complex calculations are performed correctly and that the returns contain accurate information so are accepted first time.   Things get even easier after year one as benefits can be rolled forward and items inputted throughout the year as necessary (preventing the last minute rush!)
Click here for more information on IRIS P11D Organiser. To arrange a free online demonstration please call the IRIS team on 0344 815 5677.