According to research carried out by the National Association Of Pension Funds, many businesses are still unaware of the new legislation that will come into effect in October this year and through to 2017, depending on the size of the business.
The Pension Auto-Enrollment Scheme means that employees will automatically be enrolled, without any action on their part, into their employers qualifying pension scheme. Up to now many workers have missed out on a pension because they have failed to make an application to join a scheme; auto-enrollemnt will solve this problem as employers will by forced by law to enrol those employees who qualify regardless of whether or not they have requested to join. Those who are elligible include those workers who:
- Are not currently in a qualifying workplace pension scheme
- Are at least 22 years old
- Have not yet reached state pension age
- Earn more than £7,475 a year; and
- Work or ordinarily work in the UK (under their contract)
However, workers who do not qualify to be automatically enrolled in the scheme, still have the right to join the scheme. So, if an employee tells his boss that he would like to join the scheme, they must be allowed to do so. Obviously, not all businesses will have staff that they can fit into clear cut slots and some of the legislation may appear a shade ambiguous. With that in mind, the Plymouth Chamber has linked itself to Breakwater FP, of Plymouth, to enable business owners to ascertain how the legislation will affect their particular operation.
Their website is: www.plymouth-chamber.co.uk (click on the box headed Pension Changes 2012) and requires you to enter a few details about your business then offers you a report and the procedures to follow to enable you to prepare for the legislation, it even suggests the costs your business will incur as a result of enrolling your staff. The report is free to Chamber members and £99 for non-members. However, an introductory offer is available for non-members, until 1st Septemeber, for £48.