Managing Auto-enrolment for your company

Winchester Bourne provides a comprehensive Auto-enrolment service

Download our Auto-enrolment brochure, including our fee structure here, AutoEnrolment_2016.

One thing everyone agrees about is that auto-enrolment is complicated, time consuming and expensive. However, it is a legal requirement and the time for implementing workplace pension schemes is getting near.

Our experience shows us that most companies offering an auto-enrolment service to businesses, of which there are many, are expecting their clients to pay a one off fee of approximately £1,500 for setting up and implementing auto-enrolment.

At Winchester Bourne we have thoroughly researched the legal requirements, the processes required, the specific software required, the assessments and timescales needed to professionally manage this process for you and here is our solution and the service we can offer.

 

Summary 

Ensuring Compliance

Workplace pension law has changed, which means you will need to give your staff access to a workplace pension scheme that meets certain legal requirements.

Staging dates are now being issued to all companies. This is the date on which your employer duties begin.

For some companies workplace [pension] schemes may already be in place*.

Our service addresses those businesses that do not already have a scheme in place and would like to implement and use NEST [National Employment Savings Trust] as their pension scheme.

NEST is the workplace pension set up by the government specifically for auto-enrolment.

NEST have already won awards for their innovative investment approach and clear communications and, importantly, it is free for employers to use

  • We will ensure that your company complies with all the legal requirements associated with the automatic enrolment of your staff into the NEST pension scheme.
  • We will complete all the information required in order for you to set up your scheme.
  • We will set up the scheme for you on-line with NEST.
  • We will liaise with NEST throughout on your behalf and become your NEST “delegate”.
  • In the early stages we will supply them with your members’ details and once the pension scheme is up and running we will act as your “delegate” organisation.
    • We will report the employers and employees contributions, eligible and non-eligible staff, starters, leavers etc. to NEST on a regular basis each month.
    • We will advise and set up when contributions are required to be paid to NEST
    • We will administer the payments and refunds [e.g. if a member of staff elects to opt out of NEST] to and from the scheme.

 

You are also required by law to inform all your workers/staff in writing about their new rights, at the appropriate time – whether they qualify for automatic enrolment or not.

This is communicated to them personally, either to their personal email or postal home address.

These employers’ notices must contain all the information the law requires you to include and the statements and dates must be correct.

 

  • We will undertake all the administration for this for you and ensure compliance
  • We will assess your staff and determine the eligible and non-eligible jobholders
  • Then, if you wish, we will manage the whole process going forward as an extension of the payroll services we offer.

 

Auto-enrolment is not just something that happens at the staging date. It is an on-going duty.

 

Decisions to be made

We will work with you to determine the best earnings basis for the calculation of earnings to which the pension contributions are applied.

There are several methods with varying % contributions for both employers and employees. You can also customise your own earnings basis if you wish provided that the contributions meet the legal minimums based on qualifying earnings.

 

  • We will ensure your method is compliant.
  • We will consider the overall additional costs you will incur depending on the decisions you make.
  • We will take you through, and advise you on, other decisions to be made, such as, whether to apply a waiting period. A waiting period allows you to postpone the date you need to automatically enrol your staff. [e.g. to bring auto-enrolment in-line with your payroll dates, to have a waiting period that equates to a trial period of 3 months for new starters etc.].
  • We will advise and administer this for you.

 

It is against the law to take any action, as an employer, to induce anyone to opt out of the workplace pension scheme e.g. by offering a cash bonus or withholding a pay increase, neither can you insist that your employees accept salary sacrifice. However, if they are happy to do so we will assist you with applying this to your payroll.

 

Timescales

We will manage the whole process for you before the staging date, after the staging date and beyond.

It is recommended that the planning process starts 9 months before your staging date.

 

  • We will set out a timetable for your company and your employees to ensure that there are no surprises and that your company meets its deadlines.
  • We will work with you to ensure that all your payroll records are fully accurate and up to date particularly the dates of birth, NI numbers and latest contact details – both home address and email addresses.
  • We will ensure you meet your responsibilities to make sure all your eligible and non-eligible staff are fully informed and that this follows all the government timescales and legislation.
  • We will make sure your “Declaration of compliance” is completed within the 5 month deadline.

 

There will be a huge number of small companies in 2016 and more in 2017 setting up and administering new pension schemes for their staff. To ensure you meet your statutory requirements and government timescales we would advise that you act now to make sure your obligations are met in good time.