Small UK Plansponsors Lack Key Auto Enrolment Information
19 June 2012 (PLANSPONSOREurope.com) - Smaller UK employers continue to lack key information to plan for auto enrolment, according to Aries Pension & Insurance Systems (Aries).
Last week more information emerged about the final framework for auto-enrolment, with the publication of The Automatic Enrolment (Earnings Trigger and Qualifying Earnings Band) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1506).
Aries’ Ian Neale, Director, said: “This came into force immediately so employers can now be certain about key parameters* when planning their route to compliance.
“The auto-enrolment framework is not complete however, there is at least one more key SI still to come, which will specify revised staging dates and this is one the government could still tweak as they consulted on a draft, but nothing has actually been made yet. On the one hand, the industry is assuming the proposed revisions to staging dates will go ahead unchanged, but on the other there is no certainty.
“The essential issue is that employers need to know where they stand. The general consensus in the industry is that employers need at least 12 months to make all the necessary decisions and arrangements. It is to be hoped that those whose staging dates are in the early periods have already begun planning. As larger employers, most of them will have some relevant in-house expertise and/or a relationship with a firm of advisers (if not a pension scheme already in place, which might serve for auto-enrolment).
“However, as always with any legislation, it is the smaller employers who are less likely to be already engaged, less likely to have pension arrangements of any kind already operating, less likely to have an adviser (eg corporate IFA), and less likely to have anyone in-house who is au fait with pensions. The Pensions Regulator surely knows this but the fact that we are still waiting for confirmation of some pieces of the framework less than four months from the kick-off is stress nobody needs.”