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‘Catch us if you can’: Small firms to dodge auto-enrolment duties

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Research from the Institute of Directors has found evidence that some small firms plan not to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.

Auto-enrolment began in September last year with the UK’s largest employers, and is being phased-in, with small companies not required to offer staff a pension until April 2017.

The Institute of Directors has surveyed 1,327 of its members to gauge how employers are responding to the changes.

The IoD says while levels of awareness and preparation are “broadly positive”, it has uncovered evidence that some smaller employers have no intention of complying with the new requirements.

One respondent says: “We plan to make every effort to avoid this piece of legislation, designed solely to allow the Government to steal more money.”

Another says: “We will not be spending any money doing something that we do not want to do. Catch us if you can.”

Both comments were from employers with fewer than 50 employees.

The IoD says: “Suggestions of wilful non-compliance with the new employer duties were absent in 2011, making this a worrying development.

“The research gives a sense that as employers, and particularly small employers, start to comprehend the enormity of the task in front of them, hostility to automatic enrolment might increase.”

Corporate Benefits Consulting Ltd director Allan Maxwell says: “It is important The Pensions Regulator takes a tough stance to deter this kind of behaviour.”

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