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Regulator to write to all small and micro employers

Ref: PN15-04
Wednesday 21 January 2015

All small and micro businesses are to receive letters from The Pensions Regulator in the coming months as part of a new campaign to give them key information on automatic enrolment, including when the duties affect them.

The decision to write to more than 1.5 million addresses across the UK from the end of January aims to ensure that by the summer all employers know their ‘staging date’ – the date when they need to be ready to meet their automatic enrolment duties.

Research from the regulator has shown that significant numbers of small and micro employers do not know their staging dates.

The regulator already writes to employers 12 months ahead of their staging date as part of its ongoing ‘countdown’ of communications to employers approaching automatic enrolment.

The new all-employer mail out is in addition to this regular activity and also asks employers to provide email contact details to the regulator so it can provide them with regular reminders and updates as their individual staging date approaches.

Executive director of automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said:

“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.”

More than five million workers have already been automatically enrolled by their employers. Research carried out by The Pensions Regulator indicates that workplace pensions are becoming the norm, with the majority of small and micro employers indicating that they believe it to be a ‘good idea’.

Writing to tell small and micros employers due to stage over the next three years exactly when they need to act aims to assist timely planning and reduce the number of employers leaving things to the last minute and risking non-compliance.

Whilst there is plenty of information about automatic enrolment available to employers on the regulator’s website – including an action planner, an essential guide and a tool to estimate contributions – employers will also turn to advisers for help. The website offers guidance to advisers.

Charles Counsell added: “We know from our own research that more than one million employers will be seeking help on automatic enrolment.

“Our message for advisers is clear: be prepared for clients to approach you about automatic enrolment. Let your clients know to look out for a letter from The Pensions Regulator in the coming months.”

Editor's notes

  1. The Pensions Regulator is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. We have objectives to: protect members’ benefits; reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).
  2. A monthly report on the number of employers who have completed their declaration of compliance is published on our website. All employers must declare their compliance to The Pensions Regulator after automatically enrolling their staff.
  3. Eventually up to 1.3 million employers will have automatically enrolled up to 10 million eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme.

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler 01273 648018

Rebecca Sandles 01273 811870

www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk

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