We can’t stress enough how important it is that you start planning for Auto enrolment now. Your staging date may seem a long way off, if you know it already, but if you leave it too late to think about choosing the right pension for you and your employees, your options will be extremely limited. Many pension providers won’t want to work with you if you leave it less than 6 months before your staging date, as they may not have enough time to assess and implement a plan in time. For employers who had less than 50 employees on the PAYE scheme as at April 2012, your staging date will not be until April 2015 or later, but we are now in 2014 and so it’s time to start planning right now.
The first thing to do is know your staging date. All employers have been written to with their staging date, but you can find this by keying your PAYE reference number in The Pensions Regulator website. This website has all the information and advice you need to help you make a plan for auto enrolment, give you an expectation of your costs as an employer and make sure you are fully compliant. They suggest you start planning 18 months before your staging date.
The second thing you need to do is seek advice and assistance from a good pension advisor. They can help you decide the best course of action, help you choose the best pension provider for you and your employees and help you implement your chosen pension plan. They can tell you how much your employer contributions are likely to cost you, so you can budget for this in time. Of course, all this advice will come at cost, so please bear that in mind.