Auto enrolment: don’t get caught out by workplace pensions

Woman Dropping Coins Into Jar Labelled Pension

You’ll have noticed a lot of talk about changes to workplace pensions over the past few years. And you’ll also be aware that ‘auto-enrolment’ – the compulsory provision of a workplace pension for your staff – was on its way.

But what does auto-enrolment mean for you?

The big corporate-sized businesses are already meeting this auto-enrolment requirement, and most smaller UK businesses (yours included) will need to have an auto-enrolment pension scheme up and running in the very near future – your staging date can be found out here by entering your PAYE reference.

So, with time slipping away, now is the time to assess how auto-enrolment will impact on your business.

It’s by no means a simple task – setting up the right systems, admin and payroll software is a big job. And that means acting fast to avoid being caught out by workplace pensions.

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4 ways to improve your farming business: 4. Plan for the future and succession

Line of Limousin beef cows in   lush green  French countryside, close up head shot with focus to the middle cow

There’s a strong tradition of farming being a family affair. And when you’re running a family business, you’re no longer just managing a farm; you’re also the custodian of an ongoing farming enterprise that must provide for future generations.

So it’s hugely important to take a long-term view when making business decisions about your farming business, and to put a serious amount of consideration into the impact of any changes you put in place.

And that’s why clear, well-informed planning is such a vital part of your farm management.

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Free pensions automatic enrolment workshop for employers

Are you ready for pensions automatic enrolment?  Want to find out more?

Why not come along to our pensions auto enrolment workshops?

Thursday 11 February 2016

at The Auctioneer, Rosehill, Carlisle

Times: 8 am or 11 am or 4 pm

Breakfast, lunch or tea are included as appropriate

There is likely to be a high demand for this workshop so email:  today for further information and to book a place.

What is pensions auto enrolment?

Most employers probably realise by now that where they employ at least one member of staff they need to set up a workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol their eligible employees.

You may already have received notification of your staging date which will be some time from now up to 1 April 2017 for businesses in existence prior to 1 April 2012. New businesses will have later dates between 1 May 2017 and 1 February 2018.  However if you haven’t checked this you should do so immediately as you need to start planning approximately 12 months before.

Remember that there are up to ½ million employers who will all be looking to implement new pension schemes in this year and 1.8 m in the next 2 years. Demand for experienced advisers will be high, therefore the more prepared you are and the sooner you consider your options the smoother the implementation will be.

Once you know your staging date the following need to be considered:

  • The costs to your business and how you are going to fund these.
  • Whether your existing payroll software will be able to deal with auto enrolment.
  • Create an online auto enrolment account and prepare information for your employees.
  • Choose software and check records.
  • Choose a pension scheme.
  • How you will deal with the ongoing record keeping to ensure you comply with all the regulations including opt-outs and opt-ins.

The Pensions Regulator can issue penalty notices for non compliance. They have already investigated 3800 cases since commencement of auto enrolment.  Although they are meant to be taking a light touch approach there have been several businesses fined for non compliance.

Why not come along to our pensions auto enrolment workshops  where we will guide you through your duties and responsibilities.

Big changes on the horizon for minimum wages and compulsory pensions

It’s hard enough looking after your business without your employees causing you grief too. There are some big changes coming your way very soon that will impact your wage costs. There are also new regulations relating to pensions that you must comply with from the 1st October this year.

New rates for minimum wages

As you know, the rules relating to the minimum wage change from the 1st October this year. The new rates will be £3.87 per hour for 16 to 17-year-olds, £5.30 per hour for 18 to 20-year-olds and £6.70 per hour for those who are 21 and over.

What is less well known is that the apprentice rate for 16 to 19-year-olds (and over 19’s who are in their first year of training) is now £3.30 per hour. Grants are available towards the cost of their wages, but to be eligible your employee has to be on a suitable course and may require paid leave to attend lectures as part of the grant conditions. All of this has to be factored into your budgeting (which we can help you with.)

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