Ensuring pension auto-enrolment compliance: staying ahead of the curve

Ensuring pension auto-enrolment compliance: staying ahead of the curve

Ensuring pension auto-enrolment compliance: staying ahead of the curve 1280 720 Amrik Birdi

As a responsible employer in the UK, it’s crucial to comply with the pension auto-enrolment regulations. Whether you are a start-up or a well-established firm, staying up-to-date with the compliance legislation can be quite challenging, but failing to comply with the legal requirements can result in hefty fines and have damaging reputational consequences.

What is pension auto-enrolment compliance?

Pension auto-enrolment compliance is a legal requirement for employers in the UK to automatically enrol ‘eligible’ employees into a workplace pension scheme. The system was introduced in 2012 to address the growing problem of pension provision and encourage more workers to save for their retirement.

Under the scheme, employers are required to automatically enrol ‘eligible’ employees into a pension scheme, make a minimum contribution, and provide employees with information about the scheme and their rights. Employees do have the opportunity to opt out of the pension scheme if they wish.

The scheme aims to ensure that employees have the opportunity to save for their retirement in a workplace pension scheme, which can contribute to their financial security in later life.


Who needs to comply with pension auto-enrolment?

Employers of all sizes in the UK must comply with auto-enrolment regulations. This includes businesses, charities, and not-for-profit organisations. Additionally, even if you employ just one person, you are still required to comply.

Not all employees are classed as ‘eligible’ for auto-enrolment. To be automatically enrolled, an employee must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 22 years old but below the state pension age,
  • Work in the UK,
  • Earn a minimum of £10,000 per year.

Employers must provide a workplace pension scheme for eligible employees and make contributions to their pension. However, employees have the option to opt out of the pension scheme if they wish.


List of key duties employers must fulfil for pension auto-enrolment compliance

Employers have a legal obligation to enrol eligible employees into a pension scheme and make contributions on their behalf. Non-compliant businesses may receive harsh penalties, so it’s essential to ensure compliance with pension auto-enrolment regulations.

1. Assess your workforce

Assess your workforce and determine which employees are eligible for auto-enrolment. Remember to monitor any new employees who become eligible for auto-enrolment as per the legislation.

2. Choose a pension scheme

Select a pension scheme that meets the minimum requirements for auto-enrolment. Evaluate the different options available in the market and choose one that’s suitable for your business and employees.

3. Communicate with your employees

Inform your employees about auto-enrolment, including who is eligible, how it works, and the benefits of being enrolled.

4. Set up payroll processes

  • Make sure your payroll process includes auto-enrolment.
  • Ensure that eligible employees are enrolled and contributions are made on their behalf.

5. Keep records

  • Maintain records to demonstrate that you’re complying with auto-enrolment legislation.
  • Keep records of contributions, opt-ins, opt-outs, and all communications with your employees.
  • Submit your Declaration of Compliance to The Pensions Regulator.
  • Carry out your ‘re-enrolment duties’ every three years. 

By following this checklist, you can ensure that your business meets pension auto-enrolment regulations.  

Each of these duties is critical for ensuring that your business fully complies with pension auto-enrolment regulations. Failure to fulfil any of these duties can result in costly consequences, such as:

  • Fines from The Pensions Regulator can range from £50 per day to £10,000 per day depending on the size of your business and the level of non-compliance.
  • Lawsuits from employees who were not enrolled in a qualifying pension scheme could result in significant payouts for your business.
  • Damage to your business’ reputation, as failure to comply with pension auto-enrolment may be viewed as a breach of trust with your employees.

Common auto-enrolment problems faced by employers:

Employers often face several common problems when implementing the scheme, including.

  • Difficulty in selecting a qualifying pension scheme.
  • Ensuring all eligible staff are enrolled in the scheme.
  • Calculating and processing contributions accurately and on time.
  • Managing opt-outs and opt-ins properly.
  • Keeping accurate records for reporting and compliance purposes.

If as an employer you fail to address these issues, you may face penalties for non-compliance.


Why pension auto-enrolment compliance should be a priority for your business in the UK

Pension auto-enrolment compliance is a legal obligation that applies to all businesses operating in the UK. Failure to comply with the regulations could lead to financial penalties and reputational damage for your business. Therefore, businesses must take pension auto-enrolment compliance seriously and ensure they fulfil their duties as employers. This will not only ensure compliance with the law but also provide employees with a valuable benefit for their future.


How we can help keep you compliant:

As you can see, ensuring auto-enrolment compliance is not a one-off task and does require allocating suitable and competent resources to ensure compliance with employer duties. 

All our clients benefit from our fully comprehensive and compliant pension solution. This includes:

  • Auto-enrolment processing and administration – you never have to worry about managing your employees’ pensions again.
  • We take on full responsibility for ensuring compliance with your auto-enrolment employer duties.
  • Your employees can speak to our in-house friendly experts to get one-to-one support and guidance on their workplace pensions. 
  • Online trackable pension pot for full visibility of the pension scheme. 

We will help you stay on top of your auto-enrolment employer duties and compliance, as well as help your employees engage with their pensions. Book a demo of our services or contact us to find out more.

Amrik Birdi, Pension Consultant and Head of Operations at Growth Partners

blankAmrik has a wealth of knowledge in pensions having joined Growth Partners from KPMG where he was responsible for advising companies and trustees on independent DC provider procurement exercises, DC investment strategy review, DC pensions strategy review, automatic enrolment compliance, and meeting ongoing governance requirements. Amrik spent three years before this as a Pensions Guidance Specialist at Pensions Wise helping members understand their pension and retirement options, empowering them to take control of their retirement journey. With a Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and Certificate in DC Governance, combined with a Degree in Economics, Amrik is a fully qualified pensions consultant and able to offer strategic support to our clients on their options for workplace pension schemes and auto-enrolment.