Northern Accountants

Auto Enrolment Pension Services in Leeds

Auto Enrolment Pensions

 

Auto Enrolment Pensions are now a legal requirement for anyone who employs one or more members of staff.

It doesn’t matter if you are a florist, a building contractor, a pub landlord or a solicitor; if you employ at least one person you are legally classed as an employer.

As part of the Pensions Act 2008, legislation states that all UK employers must put staff into what is known as a Work Place Pension scheme – and make financial contributions towards it.

This is called 'automatic enrolment' – and that’s where Auto Enrolment Pensions take their name from.

If you fail to comply with the auto enrolment rules by offering your employees an option, you could be forced to pay hefty penalties ranging from £50 up to £10,000 a day.

Northern Accountants can help to make your life easier by dealing with all of this on your behalf.

If you need to find out more about your legal obligations, call our Auto Enrolment Leeds team now on 0113 2189552 and arrange a free pensions consultation.

As an employer, what are my Auto Enrolment Pension obligations?

Let’s be honest, pensions are not the most exciting things to talk about!

However, as a responsible employer, you no longer have a choice.

Because there are so many different duties for you to carry out (depending on the type of Auto Enrolment Pension scheme you decide to set up), it’s important to know the role you’ll play in running a work based pension scheme.

As an employer, you MUST enrol workers into an Auto Enrolment Pension scheme if they are:

  • Aged between 22 and State Pension age
  • Earning more than £10,000 a year

As an employer, you MUST also contribute to your staff’s pension.

But the amount you pay in will depend on what type of workplace pension scheme you set up.

The minimum auto enrolment pension contributions you can pay is 1% of your employee’s ‘qualifying earnings’.

This figure is due to rise to 3% by the end of 2018 – the date when all employers must abide by the new pension rules.

 

 

What Auto Enrolment Pensions are there?

Work place pensions are no longer a case of will you or won’t you, you simply have to. 

Because of the new Auto Enrolment Pension rules, you now have to decide just one thing - Which pension is best for my employees?

At Northern Accountants, we are here to help you make the right decision for your business.

Below are four of the main Auto Enrolment Pensions you can choose;

NEST Pensions: These are usually offered by a public service company licenced by the Government to provide automatic enrolment pensions. It is a tracker-based fund that’s passively managed and follows the market in a ‘pre-programmed’ manner.

NOW Pensions & The People’s Pension: As commercial alternatives to the NEST pension, these two options are trust-based defined contribution workplace pension funds. They are offered by corporate companies that operate a very similar trust arrangement to a NEST Pension.

Because the three above provisions – the default NEST scheme, the NOW Pension and the People’s Pension – are not a regulated activity they can be delivered via Northern Accountants as your accountant.

A Master Trust Pension: This is where a large number of employers invest in a single overall trust, with the money they put in being ring fenced. Unlike the options above, this trust is actively managed. As an employer, you must reach your own conclusion as to whether the returns on actively-managed pension schemes will be better than passively managed and more low risk tracker-based fund options.

Because a master trust pension is not a regulated activity, it can be delivered by Northern Accountants as your accountant.

A company specific pension scheme: Provided by a pension company – such as Standard Life or Scottish Widows – and delivered by an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA), this option is ideal if you want your fund to be actively managed and regularly reviewed to ensure it is fit for purpose. This is usually carried out for a performance-related fee.

If this option appeals to you, Northern Accountants can provide you with an IFA or you can use your own.

Can an employer opt out of the Auto Enrolment Pensions scheme?

If your company is a director-only employer, you can claim a Special Exemption from the Auto Enrolment staging process.

The exemption application MUST be reviewed every three years.

To have the right to claim a Special Exemption you must meet the following criteria:

  • There are no individuals who could be considered workers
  • The Director could not be considered a worker by virtue of office
  • The Director does not have a contact of employment

It is worth noting that if the company does ever become an employer, an auto enrolment pension scheme must be put in place within six weeks of the first qualifying employee taking up their role.

However, the Special Exemption option can be a lifeline for small businesses owners, with no staff or employment contractual rights. 

 

Auto Enrolment Pension Services in Leeds

 

What are benefits of Auto Enrolment Pensions?

Saving regularly into a pension is one of the best long-term financial decisions you can make – both as an employer and employee.

As an employer, having a good pension scheme is one way for you to attract staff because it demonstrates you care about their welfare.

As an employee, a pension allows you to put money aside for the future in the most tax efficient way possible – thanks to employer contributions and the tax relief given to all contributions by the Government.

With a trust-based scheme, your payments are protected even if your employer goes out of business.

Click here to see other pension benefits from the Money Advisory Service.

What are my Auto Enrolment staging dates?

Every business in the UK who employs members of staff – even if they are not VAT registered – will be contacted by the Pensions Regulator to inform them of their staging date.

The regulator is responsible for ensuring employers comply with the new law.

The date will depend on the number of employees in the business.

Click now and discover your automatic staging date here.

How do I set up Auto Enrolment Pensions?

You do not need anyone to help you with Auto Enrolment Pensions – you can do it yourself by simply following the process outlined on the Auto Enrolment website now.

Of course, if you don’t want to tackle this difficult task yourself or you want to provide a bespoke pension arrangement for your employees, you may want to approach an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) for a quote.

If you decide you want to deal with the process yourself or use an IFA, we will provide you with a list of considerations and actions you will need to take.

Alternatively, we can take the whole process off your hands for a set fee – which could be as low as £95 + VAT, depending on how many employees there are in your company.

How we can help set up your Auto Enrolment Pension

At Northern Accountants, we have a two-tier offering that provides our clients with a compliant product to provide to their employees.

It is not financial advice, just a solution – and more information can be found by downloading a copy of our Auto Enrolment Pensions Guide here.

If you are a company with employees and need our help, we can:

  • Tell you your staging date.
  • Speak to you about your payroll software requirements.
  • Nominate your preferred contact – either at your office or one of our Auto Enrolment client managers.
  • Provide automatic enrolment registration details.
  • Make an initial assessment of your workforce to see if you have any employees who will need to automatically enrol.
  • Formally assess the ages and earnings of each employee who is eligible to enrol.
  • For each and every pay period, we will assess your work force for workers who are eligible to automatically enrol.
  • Opt out any eligible worker who has been automatically enrolled but who provides instructions to opt out.
  • On every third anniversary of opting out, we will automatically re-enrol the eligible worker into the pension scheme.
  • Produce the necessary letter or email communication for your employees detailing their ability to opt-out.
  • Set up your pension choice.
  • Calculate and deduct pension contributions.
  • Submit pension information to the provider.
  • Produce communication to send to employees.
  • Put an auto enrolment pension scheme in place that’s best suited to your business.
  • Take care of all the paperwork and payroll set up

Want to discover exactly how we can help you do this?

Are you a West Yorkshire business who needs to know more about Auto Enrolment Pensions?

Get in touch with Northern Accountants today, let us know where you’re currently at with it and discuss the next steps.

We’ll take away all the pain, the thinking and the doing – and ensure you make the right decision for your company.

Save time, save money and make your life easier – email john.burgess@northernaccountants.co.uk or call our Auto Enrolment Leeds specialist on 0113 2189552 now.

Request a callback?

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