Tips for auto-enrolment pensions

We all have to do it: whether with one employee or one thousand – all employees must all be enrolled in a workplace pension scheme.  April 2016 is our first month operating a workplace pension scheme and this news item includes our tips for setting up a scheme:

  • Give yourself plenty of time; both to set up the scheme and for each separate administrative task along the way
  • Take advantage of any help available

What we did:

  • We started thinking about AE in Autumn 2015
  • Our senior planner is a member of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) so we used the FSB Workplace Pensions scheme (provided by Legal & General).
  • The cost of the scheme varies according to the number of employees but, in our opinion, the benefit of assistance throughout the process more than outweighs the cost
  • We booked a telephone appointment with FSB Workplace Pensions to establish how our system would be set up. This was done together with information from our accountants who provide our payroll services.
  • The Staging Date is the date at which the company is required by the Pensions Regulator to enrol staff into the pension scheme. For us this was October 2017 but as a commitment to our staff we brought forward our Staging Date to April 1st  This was easy to do on the website.
  • With the initial set-up completed, we began to receive notifications by email of how to manage our online system
    • Input company details
    • Direct debit mandate for pension contribution payments
    • Submitting details of employees (once the staging date was reached) which triggers the issue of information to employees about the pension scheme
    • Choosing the funds into which contributions would be placed (ethical funds – of course!)
    • And finally submitting our first contribution amounts a few days ago
    • We have one task remaining which is to declare our compliance with the Pensions Regulator but the FSB Workplace Pension takes care of this on our behalf.

The pension scheme is managed 100% online and from personal experience I can say that the telephone helpline is excellent.  We are a small business and the AE process seemed intimidating but we got there and next month it will be so much easier

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