When should you be preparing for auto enrolment?
With the majority of the largest employers in the UK now staged and compliant with auto enrolment, it is the turn of the smaller businesses. There were 5.2 million SMEs in the UK in 2014, which was over 99% of all business (parliament.uk).
With just over 46,000 businesses set to stage in 2015, it is important to take a look into the amount of time that it takes to run auto enrolment and how businesses should prepare for the workplace pensions reform. The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) found that it takes approximately 103 days to setup for auto enrolment. In addition to this, they also recommend that it takes around 3.5 days on a recurring basis per payroll period to continually assess and auto enrol employees.
With this in mind, there is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that you meet your responsibilities as an employer when your staging date comes around and preparing early is a great way to start.
First of all, it is important (if you do not already know) to find your staging date. To make sure for certain when your staging date is, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) website can help you out - all you need is your PAYE reference.
When you have found your staging date the next thing to do is to use TPR's online auto enrolment action planner. This will produce for you a calendar and what to do at each stage of the process. This is extremely useful as planning for auto enrolment is a time consuming, complex process.
Next, it is important to take advantage of any training sessions or help that may be available to you in order to ensure that you are as up to speed as you can be with the workplace pension reform. Having a greater knowledge of something can mean that the time it takes to prepare can be greatly reduced.
IRIS and TPR suggest that the best time for you as a company will be to start preparing for auto enrolment around 12 months before your staging date. At IRIS we have a number of different resources including webinars, training and guides that can help to streamline your auto enrolment process.
Often, inefficient payroll processes can lead to an increase in the amount of time that it takes to prepare for auto enrolment. Find out 7 ways to streamline your auto enrolment process with the free guide from IRIS: