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FSB wants probe into impact on small firms

The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the Government to undertake an assessment of the impact of automatic enrolment on small firms as the organisation continues to press for an exemption for micro-businesses.

In October, Money Marketing revealed Government officials were considering extending the auto-enrolment phasing period for small firms due to concerns about their growth prospects. Pensions minister Steve Webb confirmed the delay in November.

Speaking at TheCityUK pension conference in London last week, FSB policy chairman Mike Cherry said the Government should use the delay to reassess the admin burden the reforms place on small companies.

He said: “The procedure which small businesses must now comply with for automatic enrolment is far more onerous than was ever envisaged when the reforms were first designed. The delay for small businesses announced by the Government provides a perfect opportunity to address some of the concerns around administration.

“However, the delay will only be worthwhile if a full impact assessment is published, with a view to substantially reducing the administrative burden for small firms. We also want to see an exemption for microbusinesses with fewer than four employees from the reforms.”

Confederation of British Industry head of labour market policy Jim Bligh said: “Administration cost is the really big concern for small businesses. The Government needs to look at ways to make the processes much simpler.”

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