Timely 'Wake-Up Call' For Firms Of All Sizes
With just one month now until the first stage of ‘Auto-Enrolment’ is introduced in the UK, leading pension lawyer, Nigel Bolton, is urging organisations of all sizes to ensure that they are fully up to speed with their legal obligations in this area.
Auto-enrolment will be phased in from October 2012 and will mean that eventually every employer will need to contribute to the pension pot of all employees aged between 22 and state pension age who earn between £8,105 and £42,475 per year.
The first staging will affect only large organisations employing over 120,000 members of staff. There are 11 further ‘staging dates’ during the next 12 months and by April 2014, all businesses employing at least 160 people will need to be compliant.
Nigel Bolton, a Pensions Partner at the Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell, said: “Although the majority of business will not be affected at the beginning of October 2012, it is a timely wake-up call.
“Many organisations have still not fully assessed the significant effect that auto-enrolment will have. In addition to the complex legal requirements, many will find themselves with significant payroll systems issues to overcome and some will face a much higher bill for contributions. All of which, in the worst cases, are likely to directly impact business performance and stability.
“Employers need to engage with this 12 -18 months ahead of their staging date as upgrading or replacing their systems is simply not an overnight job. Proper planning can create opportunities for business, not just throw up problems.”