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Pension auto-enrolment delay confirmed

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SMEs concerned about meeting the upcoming deadlines for pension auto-enrolment can breathe easy after the government confirmed that the scheme has been delay until August 1 2015 at the earliest.

The extension means firms employing between 30 and 49 staff will now have to enrol staff until August 2015, with those employing fewer than 30 staff given until 1 January 2016.

Small businesses are struggling to thrive in the current economy, and the thought of increasing red tape was beginning to panic many of those who hadn’t already made dispensations for the original 2014 deadlines. As such, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) Chief Executive, Phil Orford, has welcomed the government’s extension, claiming “this temporary delay will allow small firms to now focus fully on running their business until the economy is back in firmer territory”.

“We believe this will also allow small business the extra time to plan for and subsequently implement the scheme successfully,” he added.

The level of pension contributions will also be phased in over time to help employers and individuals adjust, the government has revealed, with full contributions not necessary until 1 October 2018.

But while business groups have embraced the government’s decision, workers’ unions have been less thrilled, with TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber labelling the delay as “deeply disappointing”.

“Everyone agrees that we face a pensions crisis, with two out of three private sector workers not in any kind of workplace pension,” said Mr Barber. “(The government’s) announcement does not just hit the staff of small employers. What’s worse is that even workers auto-enrolled this year will now have to wait until the end of the staging process before they get their full contribution.”

For more on pension auto-enrolment and how it may affect your business, contact our employment experts today.


Written by Andrew Hodges

February 6, 2012 at 11:06 am

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