Small firms pensions alert

Martin Wigley
Martin Wigley
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New legislation has come into force requiring employers to automatically enrol employees into workplace pension schemes and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has been writing to businesses to advise them of their staging date.

Jones Harris Chartered Accountants at Fleetwood advise that the final staging date for businesses with fewer than 30 employees is April 2017, where a PAYE scheme was in place in March 2012.

All employers with at least one employee aged between 22 and state pension age, earning £10,000 a year or more, must then auto-enrol all staff into a workplace pension scheme if they aren’t already in one.

The many people who work alone, are self-employed or part of small family businesses here on the Fylde coast might be questioning whether their own company is exempt.

Martin Wigley, director with Jones Harris, says there are some exemptions to the new legislation available in certain circumstances.

Martin (pictured) said “The Pensions Regulator has stated that you will not have any duties if yours is a business made up of one sole director, or a business with only a number of directors – none or only one of whom have an employment contract. Automatic enrolment will apply if more than one director has a contract of employment.

You, or your agent, must write to TPR to advise them of your status and get their acknowledgement in writing that you do not have any duties under this legislation. You must also advise them should your circumstances change.

Martin added: “Please don’t bury your head in the sand and try to ignore auto-enrolment.

“There are fixed penalties for non-compliance along with daily penalties depending on the number of employees, which could add up to a hefty fine if ignored”.