Two thirds of small firms unaware of auto-enrol dates

Charles Counsell 700 x 450

Hundreds of thousands of Britain’s smallest employers do not know when they need to begin paying pension contributions as part of auto-enrolment.

A survey of employers’ awareness of the reforms, commissioned by The Pensions Regulator, shows only 38 per cent of small and micro employers have an accurate knowledge of their staging date.

Around 1.8 million employers will need to comply with auto-enrolment duties over the next two years.

The research also suggests that while there is a high level of awareness of the concept of auto-enrolment, knowledge of the details is more patchy.

Only 72 per cent of micro-employers know they will need to communicate to workers on an individual basis and just 59 per cent are aware they need to complete a declaration of compliance.

Small and micro-employers are most likely to use or plan to use accountants for help with auto-enrolment, at 31 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.

But 20 per cent of small and 15 per cent of micro-employers use or expect to use a financial adviser.

TPR executive director of auto-enrolment Charles Counsell says: “The challenge of ensuring 1.8 million employers meet their duties by April 2017 is significant and the research shows many employers are still not preparing early enough.”

He adds: “It is also positive that more advisers have stepped up to meet the needs of employers by developing new services, and by directing clients to the regulator’s website. I urge all intermediaries to ensure they can fulfil this vital role as more employers seek assistance.”