Small Firms' Auto-Enrolment Staging Date Knowledge Still Low

Pension Regulator Survey Highlights That SMEs Not Prepared


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Less than half of small companies in the UK know when their auto-enrolment staging date is according to research from The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

The report found that four in five smaller medium employers - those with between 50 and 89 workers - know when their duties take effect. This figure fell however to 47% for employers with between five and 49 employees.

According to TPR, this result from their survey showed little change in relation to auto-enrolment understanding amongst small companies since the survey was first conducted last spring.

The survey also revealed that just 38% of smaller businesses knew they had to register their scheme with the regulator in order to remain compliant.
TPR executive director for auto-enrolment Charles Counsell said: "Most medium employers due to auto-enrol between July and early 2015 know about the changes in the broadest sense, but many still haven't considered exactly what they will need to do and by when.

"It really is time to act. Too many employers still think they can leave it as late as possible and don't understand the actions they need to take."

Expert Opinion
We would echo many of the concerns that TPR has highlighted in relation to auto enrolment. Businesses seem to be aware of the concept, but there is a worrying low proportion of smaller firms that know when their staging date is and what they need to do.

“The fact that smaller businesses are less prepared than larger ones is very concerning, particularly as many of these SMEs don’t have access to the sophisticated back office systems, structures and expertise that larger organisations have.

“Once again this supports our firm belief that an effective end-to-end online solution for auto-enrolment is required. This will ensure that smaller firms have the right products, are legally compliant and can manage their on-going administrative burden.”
Nigel Bolton, Partner