Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Auto-enrolment 'too confusing'

Staff and company bosses remain confused about new automatic enrolment workplace pensions
Staff and company bosses remain confused about new automatic enrolment workplace pensions

Workers and bosses remain confused about what the changes to pension laws will mean for them, financial consultants have said.

Next month sees the start of a phased roll-out of automatic enrolment workplace pension schemes across the UK.

From October 1 large companies must enrol all employees into pension plans, with small and medium-sized businesses following in stages from spring next year.

While workers can opt out, a UK Government publicity campaign is urging them to remain, under the tag-line "I'm in".

But Belfast company ASM Financial Planning said there is still a lot of confusion among workers and employers about how the pensions shake-up affects them. The volume of queries from clients has prompted it to compile a free guide which explains the main issues in five steps, it said.

Senior consultant Fiona McKee said that being prepared is the key.

"There has been a lot of information in the press recently about the introduction of the new law. Much of it is confusing and doesn't explain in layman's terms what it actually means for employees and employers and what practical steps they need to take to get on board," she said.

"The independent guide we have produced outlines the five key points that employers and employees need to understand about the new regulations and what employers need to do in order to stay compliant. It is important to note that the legislation will affect all businesses in the UK with one or more employees who are aged between 22 and 65.

"Failure to comply will be costly for employers as they could incur significant fines.

"The new requirements will be introduced in stages from October with the implementation date being dependent on the number of employees. This guide clearly illustrates how organisations of different sizes will be affected and the date in which the auto enrolment will be introduced. The guide is also important for employees as it gives a clear picture of what their employer should be doing and how they will stand to benefit."

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