UK Businesses Fail to Prioritise Auto-Enrolment

More than a quarter of small businesses have completed their auto-enrolment either very close to, or after their staging date

UK Businesses Fail to Prioritise Auto-Enrolment

Over a quarter (27%) of UK businesses completed their automatic enrolment (auto-enrolment) application within just one month of their staging date – with 10% doing so after the date had passed – new research by NOW: Pensions has found.

While 31% of companies signed up to auto-enrolment at least six months before the staging date, the research has found that the majority of business owners have “continued to procrastinate” and are under-prepared for the long-term effects of a workplace pension too.

Moreover, the report added that employers which are late to enrol not only cause themselves unnecessary stress but also limit their options in regards to pension providers.

The latest auto-enrolment deadline – for companies with 30-49 employees – passed earlier this month (Oct 1). This means that small businesses with fewer than 30 employees are next in line for auto-enrolment, with the April 1 2016 deadline fast approaching.

Steven Watmore, payroll & AE specialist at Sage UK, provided comment and warned small businesses to tackle auto-enrolment early:

“Now it’s time for thousands of the country’s smallest businesses to tackle auto-enrolment. To avoid legal measures being taken, businesses need to prepare now for the impending changes. The Pensions Regulator recommends six to 12 months preparation to get everything in order.

“While businesses must consider the administrative burden, they must also bear in mind the long-term impact on future cashflow and mitigate the risk of being penalised for non-compliance.”

For more information on auto-enrolment and how your small business can prepare, check out our sister site’s guide here.

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