The Pensions Regulator is writing to 1.5 million businesses in addition to its regular wake up letters in an attempt to avert mass non-compliance among small employers unprepared for auto-enrolment.
Employers already receive a letter 12 months ahead of their staging date to help them plan for auto-enrolment regulations and avoid penalities for failing to meet their obligations.
But TPR says it is contacting all small and micro businesses regardless of when they need to comply, because of research that shows “significant numbers” do not know when their staging dates are.
Executive director of auto-enrolment Charles Counsell says: “Automatic enrolment affects every employer in the UK and they need to take timely action to get ready. The roll out of automatic enrolment has so far been a success and this letter will ensure that by the summer all small and micros are clear about when their duties begin, enabling them to plan ahead.
“From the end of January, letters will be sent out on a gradual basis over a number of months, so employers should not worry if they don’t receive theirs straight away. In the meantime, all employers can look up their staging date on our website.
The pensions industry is bracing for a growing number of unprepared employers. In October, the regulator issued its first three £400 fines to firms who failed to act on compliance notices.