Auto-enrolment and THIS small business

There are 4.9 million businesses in the UK, 99.9 per cent of which are small businesses. Unbiased.co.uk’s Clare Kissane gives her viewpoint.

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Unbiased.co.uk is a small business like those of many of our advisers and we will, of course, also be affected by auto-enrolment.  Working in the financial services environment I am aware of its imminent arrival, but I’ve been wondering recently if I would have any such awareness if I was in a similar role in a completely different industry?  I’m vaguely aware that our staging date is some time in the future – I did look it up a few months ago, it’s either spring 2015 or spring 2016 but it’s far enough away not to be fully in my focus at the moment.

“My first task is to do what I usually do when I’m starting on something new – contact my network of other small businesses we work closely with to find out what they are planning”

And apart from a few bits and pieces about percentages of salary and age of employees, that’s about the full extent of my knowledge.  So although there’s still plenty of time for me to get things organised, I’m now embarking on a mission to learn more and prepare myself and the business.

The TV ads seem to be aimed at employees not employers – but perhaps a later campaign will target small businesses as our dates start to approach. Here at unbiased.co.uk we are working with NEST on engaging with advisers and NEST are already reaching out to employers and helping them understand their duties and how to navigate them. With about 4.9m businesses in the UK, 99.9 per cent of them SMEs*,  the industry has a big challenge ahead.

My first planned task is to do what I usually do when I’m starting on something new – contact my network of other small businesses we work closely with to find out what they are planning to do, and how they are going to approach setting up their new pension schemes.

Over the coming months I’ll let you know how we’re getting on with the process.

How is your small business preparing for auto-enrolment? Let us know by tweeting @unbiasedUK

>>>Read more articles on auto-enrolment.

* Dept of Business, Innovation and Skills