By Lynne Gowers on 24th June 2016

Complying with the law on workplace pensions

workplace pensions

Have you recently received a letter from The Pensions Regulator, urging you to “Act Now: the law on workplace pensions has changed”?
Several of our clients have received this communication in recent weeks so here is what it means and what you need to do.

Due to changes in the law on workplace pensions, every employer with at least one member of staff is obliged to enrol them into an appropriate workplace pension and contribute towards it. This is known as “automatic enrolment” (or “auto enrolment”).

This government initiative started being rolled out in April 2012, (you may have noticed the press coverage featuring a big fluffy blue monster!) The auto enrolment process will be completed in 2018, by which time every single employer will have to provide a workplace pension for their staff. So if you have employees and haven’t already received a letter about this, you will before long.

Regardless of the nature of your business, whether you are hairdresser, an architect or employ a personal care assistant, if you are employing at least one person you are classed as an employer. When you reach your staging date for auto enrolment, you will have certain legal duties.

What do I need to do?

To comply with the law on workplace pensions, it is important to understand what you need to do and by when. This will depend on your circumstances and those of your employees.

Log on to The Pension Regulator’s Duties Checker. You will need your PAYE reference and your 10 digit letter code to hand, as well as the age and earnings of each individual you employ.

Checking your duties in advance of your staging date means that you will have a clear idea of what is expected and will also save you from completing duties which are not relevant to you.

…but I don’t have employer duties

You can opt out of auto enrolment  if any of the following criteria apply:

  • You are a sole director company, with no other staff
  • Your company has a number of directors, none of whom has an employment contract
  • Your company has a number of directors, only one of whom has an employment contract
  • Your company has ceased trading
  • Your company has gone into liquidation
  • Your company has been dissolved

To opt out click here. If you opt out and subsequently your circumstances change so that auto enrolment duties apply to you, you must inform The Pension Regulator.  Examples would be if you take on a member of staff other than a director, or if at least two directors start working for you under contracts of employment.

Also note that auto enrolment will apply if you employ your spouse and they are not a director.

Let Boox help

Your Boox client accountant will be happy to talk you through your obligations.

To find out more about your obligations under auto enrolment, including advice on who you need to enrol download our free guide

Lynne Gowers Written by Lynne Gowers

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