Pensions auto-enrolment: 1 June 2015 start date for small employers

New figures from the Pensions Regulator show that the number of penalty notices issued to employers who have not complied with their auto-enrolment duties increased sharply in the first quarter of 2015. Between 1 January and 31 March 2015, 198 fixed penalty notices were issued.

Small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) should be made aware that 1 June 2015 is the start of the staging date for them to automatically enrol eligible “jobholders” in a pension scheme. Small employers have until 1 April 2017 to complete the process.

A “jobholder” will include permanent, fixed-term and temporary employees, as well as agency workers. A business can use an occupational or personal pension scheme if it meets statutory quality requirements. Otherwise the business can enrol jobholders in the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), a central defined contribution scheme to be set up by the government.