Changes introduced to improve auto enrolment for employers
The Department for Work and Pensions have announced a number of changes to auto enrolment rules to be introduced next month. These changes are being brought in due to feedback from companies already complying with the legislation with the aim being to make the auto enrolment process easier for future groups of employers preparing to comply.
Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions said: “Employers and our partners in the pensions and payroll industry have made a major contribution in delivering these landmark reforms since October last year.
Now, one year in, we want to build on this success as medium-sized employers prepare to automatically enrol their staff into a workplace pension. These changes are aimed at streamlining the system and making it easier for employers to meet their duties.”
Some of the key changes to note include:
- Alternative definitions of pay reference periods for both assessing jobholder status and determining whether a scheme is a qualifying scheme
- The automatic enrolment joining window is extended from one month to 6 weeks
- The deadline for employers to provide information to individuals on their opt in and joining rights is extended to 6 weeks
- The deadlines for registration and postponement notices fit with the extended joining window
- The extended deadline for passing worker contributions to a pension scheme applies to all new joiners (including contract joiners)
- The opt out notice provisions make clear that schemes can customise notices
- There is greater clarity and consistency concerning the requirements for defined benefit test schemes in relation to the appropriate age, service limits and revaluation that apply in those schemes
These changes are due to be implemented as of 1st November 2013 with those regarding the joining window and registration deadlines being introduced from 1st April 2014.
Are you struggling to prepare for auto enrolment? Want to know what you need to do and when? Why not book a place on one of our three hour auto enrolment seminars, taking place across the country?