West of England businesses falling short on pension auto-enrolment

More than a fifth of employers across the West of England still have no plans in place for the auto-enrolment of employees in workplace pension schemes. And they should start preparations immediately or risk fines if they fail to provide a scheme for their employees.

That was message from The Pensions Regulator in a keynote business event organised by GetSet for Growth – West of England, an organisation funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund. The training session was attended by 50 businesses across manufacturing, professional services and the voluntary sector.

Phil Stott, Project Director for GetSet for Growth – West of England, said, “Without doubt, auto-enrolment is the number one issue facing small to medium sized businesses because if they employ at least one person, then they must comply with the new workplace pension rules.

“That’s why we responded by bringing in one of the experts at The Pensions Regulator so that SMEs could learn more about the challenges and how to tackle them. We could have filled the room ten times over such was the demand.”

By 2018, all employers in the country will need to have put eligible staff into a workplace pension scheme.

Bryan McDaniel, Industry Liaison Manager from The Pensions Regulator, was the speaker at the GetSet for Growth event. He said, “Hundreds of thousands more small and micro employers need to act in the coming two years.

“What we’re finding is that some employers underestimate the time it will take them to be ready. It may take between three and six months to get a pension scheme set-up. If you leave it late, you risk a fine.

“Our message is don’t ignore the workplace pension. Employers should look out for a letter from us and visit our website to find out what to do.  There’s also lots of clear information written with small employers in mind.”

Made up of finance, sales, marketing and business development experts, the GetSet for Growth West of England team offers support and expertise to SMEs in the West of England area.

Phil Stott added, “Auto-enrolment is one hot issue. But we’re currently working with small to medium sized businesses in the West of England to tackle all sorts of challenges, such as business planning, finance and marketing. We’ll continue to run free workshops and training sessions to help businesses grow and create jobs in the region.”

SMEs can register on the GetSet for Growth website and find out what other help they can access to help them thrive and grow – http://www.getsetforgrowth.com/

Pension-led funding’s sister company Clifton Wealth can also help with the challenges of auto-enrolment. Visit http://www.clifton-wealth.com/auto-enrolment-the-challenge/ or call 01275 813700.