AccountingWEB has officially launched the 'No-one gets left behind' campaign to alert as many accountants as possible to the obligations implied by automatic enrolment.
We’ve long been concerned that small businesses and accountants are not sufficiently aware of the existence or implications of workplace pensions. Over the next few years nearly a million businesses will be compelled to offer a company pension to their employees.
AccountingWEB and our campaign supporters believe that practitioners hold the key to small and medium-sized businesses successfully enrolling their employees.
The importance of accountants in the auto enrolment process was even noted by pensions minister Steve Webb at a Friends of Automatic Enrolment meeting organised by the CIPP back in June.
Webb acknowledged the role of trusted advisers to businesses in the overall programme and admitted that he needs to start spending more time with accountants.
AccountingWEB publisher Andy North, who is spearheading the ‘No-one gets left behind’ campaign and is co-chair of the Bristol Friends of Automatic Enrolment chapter, said the campaign is essential to help accountants and businesses understand their obligations and the requirements surrounding the staging for auto enrolment in the months ahead.
“As the volume of businesses needing to deal with auto enrolment increases, good quality and appropriate advice will be at a premium,” he said. “Among other issues, we’ve found that businesses have been struggling with the evaluation of their employees to determine eligibility. This is one of the critical and yet most challenging elements of the requirements.”
As we’ve seen from the larger businesses that have already staged, the communications, data management skills, scheme selection and sheer manpower required has thrown many employers off.
One such example has been Dunelm Soft Furnishings - flagged by the Pensions Regulator as a cautionary tale - who underpaid its initial AE contributions by £143,000 as a result of a defective payroll system.
“Just complying with the regulations is a job in itself,” North added.
The ‘No-one gets left behind’ campaign highlights the eight things you need to know to be ready for auto enrolment.
Campaign supporters so far include:
- Barnett Waddingham
- Clifton Auto Enrolment
- Core Employee Benefits
- Friendly Pensions
- LP Auto Enrolment Solutions
- Pension PlayPen
By signing up to the campaign, you are demonstrating that you are willing to engage with auto enrolment and see your company and/or clients through staging in the months ahead.
Recent auto enrolment coverage on AccountingWEB includes:
- The huff and puff of auto enrolment technology - by Iain Oliver, AECS
- Hidden auto enrolment responsibilities revealed - by David White, Creative Auto Enrolment
- Auto enrolment: Suffering from ostrich syndrome? - by Ian Patterson, AVN
Read our simple eight-point statement which sets out the auto enrolment facts you need to know.