Our very own Clare Kissane gives us an update on what auto-enrolment means to us and how she has been navigating her way through the changes.
My original plan was to talk to other small businesses that we know well to find out how they are approaching auto enrolment, to see if I could learn anything from them. Frankly, all this has achieved is to establish that they are as much in the dark as I was myself – with a staging date in April 2016, almost two years away, it’s hard to drum up the enthusiasm to set aside much time for investigation, especially when, as with all small businesses, there are so many demands that have to be met right now.
But just today, a new member of staff told me they already have a NEST pension from a previous employer. This prompted me to do a little more research – and I find that I can (and now have) registered on the Pensions Regulator website as our business’s contact for auto enrolment communications. One small action, but I’m pleased to have done it. If you haven’t yet done the same, I recommend that you do it now here.
And out of this I have learnt the answer to a question that’s been on my mind for months – when will someone be contacting me officially about auto enrolment? The answer is that nominated contacts should expect to receive correspondence no earlier than 12 months before their staging date.
The Pensions Regulator site also has a very useful planning tool which sets out the actions needed and the estimated time they will take. So I now also know that I can stop worrying about whether or not I should be doing anything now – they say that you should start about 12 months before your staging date, so that’s now in my diary for April 2015.
Perhaps now I can go back to the other people I’ve been talking to and get them to do the same.