Auto enrolment and effective planning
When it comes to Auto Enrolment there are lots of things to think about from choosing a suitable pension provider (not all of them are the same, or indeed give you the best flexibility for you and your employees), to implementing the scheme. It is important that amongst all of this, you remember to communicate all of the changes that are taking place with your employees.
There are key points throughout the Auto Enrolment process where employees should be communicated to and it is important to bear in mind the following points:
1) Each employee should be written to individually as each has a different personal circumstance that need to be taken into account. These letters are specific regulatory letter by the pensions regulator, so don’t try and do them yourself. Simply download the letter that is specific to them, from the regulators website.
2) There are regulated time limits for writing to staff (Assured Wealth can advise you of these timings and help you incorporate it into your overall auto enrolment plan).
3) Communications can be given via a formal e-mail or letter. You will have to save these documents indefinitely, so ensure your auto-enrolment software stores every communication to each employee as you could be asked for it if the regulator requests it.
4) If your employees are already in a qualifying pension scheme with your company, you still need to write to them to inform them about Auto Enrolment. You will probably find that the scheme you are running now will NOT be suitable for the new auto-enrolment rules. This may mean stopping payments into the old scheme, transferring their savings to the new one, or simply freezing the savings in the old scheme (making it paid up).
The first thing you should do when thinking about communicating to your staff regarding Auto Enrolment is to make a plan which sets out the objectives & identifies who is responsible for distributing the information.
A major aspect of keeping staff informed is ensuring that their details are kept up to date. A problem that lots of companies face during their Auto Enrolment set up is that they have inaccurate or out of date data about employees. Rectifying any inaccuracies will make communicating with staff about Auto Enrolment much simpler.
Auto Enrolment could also be used within your business as an incentive to improve staff motivation. You could consider contributing more than the legislative minimum and use this to retain/gain better quality staff. Employee benefits such as salary sacrifice for: cycle to work scheme; parking; child care vouchers; holidays etc. Salary sacrifice has the effect of saving employers national insurance too, so it’s even more cost effective to implement this type of scheme. You could even offer employees money off vouchers for shopping anywhere within the UK for no extra cost to your business.
Here at Assured Wealth we understand that it may be difficult to fully communicate Auto Enrolment to employees when you're only just getting your head around it yourself. That's where we can help! We can provide informative seminars to staff and answer any questions they may have. We can also help you to identify ways that Auto Enrolment can be of value to your business as well as your employees.
Don't leave it until it's too late, as the fines for non-compliance from the pensions regulator can be hefty.
Arrange a FREE consultation with one of our advisors today and find out how we can help you succeed at Auto Enrolment!