UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENTS' AUTOMATIC ENROLMENT DUTIES

Last updated: 04 May 2021 01:00 Posted in: AIA

AIA is working with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to remind members that while the workplace has changed due to the pandemic - workplace pensions duties have not.

While the responsibility for meeting automatic enrolment responsibilities lies with the employer, advisers can help them with some or all of their duties.

All employers have a legal duty to automatically enrol eligible staff into a workplace pension and pay in the correct contributions for them.

While these are uncertain times for all employers, they must continue to do the right thing for their staff. Failing to meet automatic enrolment (AE) duties could lead to enforcement action including financial penalties.

Staff must be assessed to see if they are eligible for automatic enrolment and if they are, they must be put into a qualifying scheme. TPR has a list of schemes which are suitable for AE.

Employers with temporary or seasonal staff can consider using postponement. This means they can choose to delay working out who to put into a pensions scheme for up to three months.

One of the main reasons employers use postponement is when they have staff they know will not be working for them in three months’ time. However, employers can use postponement for other reasons including to allow more time to set up a pension scheme or other business process.

Once staff have been enrolled into a pension, employers have ongoing duties to ensure staff continue to receive the pensions contributions they are due.

Every three years employers must complete re-enrolment. This means they must put eligible staff who opted out, back into a pension which gives them a fresh opportunity to save.

Rachel Rutherford, Director of Policy and Public Affairs added: “AIA would encourage all members to review the TPR website which has lots of information for new employers and their advisers about employer responsibilities. Remember as an adviser you can help your clients with some, if not all of their legal duties.”

It is important you ensure TPR has the correct contact details for employers and their advisers so that they receive important information about what they need to do and when to comply with the law.

TPR is taking a proportionate approach to enforcement in light of the pressure employers are under due to impact of COVID-19. However, employers continue to have duties and risk penalties if they fail.

For more information: www.tpr.gov.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-consider

“AIA would encourage all members to review the TPR website which has lots of information for new employers and their advisers about employer responsibilities. Remember as an adviser you can help your clients with some, if not all of their legal duties.”