Pension Regulation Weaknesses Threaten Auto Enrolment

By Sam Thomas | 2nd June 2016 | 2 min read



A report from the Work and Pensions Select Committee states that auto enrolment is at risk from weaknesses in pension regulations.

The Work and Pensions Select Committee are warning that additional support may be needed in the form of regulation as up to 1.8 million small and micro-sized businesses reach their staging date. The committee believe this will be the most challenging period that the Workplace Pension Reforms have faced so far and has now called on the government to do ‘everything possible’ to support this period of enrolment.

The committee say that there are now an additional 6.1 people now saving for their retirement because of automatic enrolment and the success of the workplace pension reforms. For this success to continue, they have made three core recommendations for the government.

Support Recommendations

The committee has brought forward three main recommendations to help automatic enrolment:

1) The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) ‘Workie’ campaign should now turn its focus to the financial consequences of non-compliance to help emphasise that auto enrolment cannot be ignored

2) The DWP should clarify with the businesses yet to stage where the liability will fall if the pension scheme they’ve selected either fails or performs badly, this will help provide assurances to businesses who may be unsure about which scheme to choose

3) Basic PAYE Tools should be expanded through a joint venture between the DWP and HMRC. This would help the remaining small and micro-sized businesses in meeting their workplace pension requirements. The committee state that it must be as easy as possible for these businesses to comply with automatic enrolment

Craig Mackinlay MP, committee member, said: “The most important thing now is to support the final 1.8 million small and micro-businesses into AE. HMRC provides free Basic PAYE Tools software to enable smaller employers with up to nine staff to manage payroll calculations and reporting requirements under the Real Time Information (RTI) regime.

“It is essential, in my view, that additional functionality be added to this application to enable smaller employers to manage their auto-enrolment obligations without needing to outsource their payroll function or be forced to buy proprietary software.”

The IRIS Factor

We’re one of the largest supporters of automatic enrolment in the UK, over 10% of all enrolled employees are assessed via IRIS payroll software, and we’re also the UK’s largest supplier of auto enrolment training.

If you’re looking for free payroll software which can handle the complexities of automatic enrolment, look no further than IRIS Payroll Basics, the HMRC-recognised free payroll software for businesses with less than 10 employees. IRIS Payroll Basics provides a free and easy way of running your payroll and workplace pension duties, as well as managing PAYE, NI, and all statutory payments in one place – best of all, there is no 30-day limit with the software, it’s yours to keep and use.

You can download IRIS Payroll Basics using the button below.

Download IRIS Payroll Basics