I have had a number of queries about auto-enrolment, in particular when does auto enrolment start? The short answer is that it already has started – at least for large firms with upwards of 800 staff. Next month (November 2013) the next tier of employers must implement their schemes – those with 500-799 staff. Small firms, which generally means those with fewer than 50 staff have a staged launching date beginning in June 2015. All firms have a “staging date” and this can be found on the pension regulators website, all you need is your PAYE reference number (as the employer).
However small firms should not be under the impression that time is on your side. Setting up a scheme involves certain processes and assessments to be completed. This takes time. Whilst the Government have sensibly staggered the start dates, the reality is that most firms in the UK are small and there will be a rush and backlog. Given the prospect of fines and the amount of advanced warning, I don’t think it wise to hang around on this. I’ve been advised by various pension companies offering a scheme that they are already struggling to cope… and we’ve only just begun. So the time to begin to act on this is now. Here’s a good little video about auto-enrolment.