The latest in our series of blogs for National Payroll Week, is based on recent research by the Pensions Regulator. Apparently, almost half of accountants, payroll bureaux and bookkeepers, weren’t aware that new employers will have to enrol eligible staff into a pension scheme immediately from October 2017.
Despite a number of Government-led campaigns, there is still a lot to be done surrounding awareness of workplace pensions. Hopefully, we are able to dispel a few of the myths, as the law is very clear for employers who do not “toe the line”. If you don’t currently offer a workplace pension scheme this is not a suitable excuse – you must set one up.
Employers must enrol all eligible staff into a pension scheme – this is called auto enrolment. “Eligible staff” includes everyone aged between 22 and the State Pension Age, who earns at least £10,000 a year and works in the UK. You can find a handy Duties Checker on the Pensions Regulator website to help with this if you are still unsure of your duties as an employer and the auto enrolment process.
There are also some changes afoot, as from 1 October 2017, your legal duties as an employer begin on your staff members’ first day, therefore you must enrol them into a scheme on that day. If you have employed someone between 2 April and 30 September 2017, then the date your auto enrolment duties start will depend on whether you set up you PAYE Scheme with HMRC before or after your staff started working for you.
It will be either:
- 1 January 2018, if you first pay your staff between 2 April 2017 and 30 June 2017
- 1 February 2018, if you first pay your member of staff between 1 July 2017 and 30 September 2017.
You will need to remember that you have re-enrolment duties every three years. Your duties as employer will depend on identifying staff in need of re-enrolment and you will need to complete a declaration of compliance to tell the Pensions Regulator that you have met your duties. Remember this is a legal responsibility and if you don’t comply you could be fined.
Wilkins Kennedy’s specialist outsourced payroll division helps clients with a number of payroll-related services, helping to reduce the compliance burden on employers. If you have any current issues or queries relating to your payroll, contact us today to find out how we can help.