Micro Firms should be Exempt from Pension Reform Timebomb

All micro firms (small businesses with 10 employees or fewer) should be exempt from the automatic enrolment pension scheme due to come into force in 2012, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said today. The FSB is calling for all micro businesses to be exempt from automatically enrolling their staff into a pension scheme to remove the regulatory and financial burden on these businesses. Responding to the consultation, Government review of automatic enrolment, the FSB warns that the cost and time spent on administrative work will damage micro firms and that the pension schemes set up by Government do not meet the needs of micro firms. The proposed changes are also very complicated for small businesses to put in place, and the FSB is concerned that small firms do not have the expertise ... »

Working Time Directive

Agency Worker reforms go ahead

The European Parliament has agreed to an EU directive which will give temporary workers the same employment rights as permanent staff. The directive will give agency staff equal employment rights after 12 weeks on the job. This means they would receive equal pay and holiday entitlements, as well as the right to regular work breaks. However, temporary workers will be exempt from certain benefits, including sick pay and pensions. EU member states now have three years to implement the directive, but the UK Government has promised to act quickly by introducing draft legislation in early 2009. The UK has accepted the EU directive in return for being allowed to retain its opt–out from the Working Time Directive, including the 48–hour working week. According to the Federation of Small... »


Financial crisis delays Retirement

Small–business owners are being forced to shelve their retirement plans because of the deepening economic crisis, according to financial services firm Clifton Asset Management (CAM). CAM’s survey of more than 1,000 small–business owners revealed that 42% blamed the credit crisis for dealing a ‘major blow’ to their retirement prospects. The research also found that 40% said that their pensions and savings were their main concern, with an equal number saying that the bleak economic outlook had severely affected the likelihood of finding an interested buyer. CAM director Anthony Carty said: “The ongoing stock market turmoil and the bail–out of the banks will do nothing to calm people’s fears when they weigh up their retirement options in the com... »

IFA Corporate Guide

Introduction Competition, recruitment, tax, investment, profit and growth – these matters are uppermost in the mind of every successful employer. Trustworthy expert independent financial advice has a valuable role to play in many of these areas, saving hard–pressed directors’ and employers’ time and money while delivering financial security to employees through the provision of financial advice. Financial advisers help businesses achieve or remain in their best possible shape in numerous ways, for example by making sure they stay on top of the ever–changing tax rules and obligations to provide access to pension plans and other employee benefits. Then there is the tricky territory of providing pensions for employees which is set for another shake–up in th... »