Early staging dates for pension auto enrolment now available

Businesses now have the option to bring forward the staging date in which they will automatically enrol employees into a work place pension scheme.

Automatic enrolment is being phased in from October this year, when the largest firms will be the first to enrol all eligible employees. Smaller companies will gradually follow suit from this date, until it is compulsory for all firms to do so from 1 January 2016.

A company's automatic staging date is determined by the size of its PAYE scheme on the 1 April this year, with larger firms employing 120,000 or more employees auto-enrolling from 1 October 2012, and those with 50,000-119,999 employees doing so from 1 November 2012.

Acknowledging that staging dates may not always suit individual business needs, The Pension Regulator has allowed some flexibility by offering all employers the option to bring forward their staging date.

Those with a staging date of 1 October 2012 (120,000 or more employees) may now bring it forward to as early as 1 July, 1 August of 1 September 2012, while those with a staging date of 1 November 2012 (50,000-119,999 employees) being able to bring it forward to 1 July, 1 August, 1 September or 1 October 2012.

The Pension Regulator has also published guidance to the alternative staging dates available and how businesses may go about altering their date.

The Government hopes that up to 10 million people will be automatically enrolled through the scheme, either into a workplace pension scheme or the new state-backed NEST scheme, in a bid to encourage more workers to save towards a pension.

Please contact us to find out how we can help you to prepare for the 2012 pension reforms.