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Automatic enrolment: New interactive web journey launched for small and micro employers

Ref: PN15-44
Tuesday 20 October 2015

The Pensions Regulator has today acted to help reduce the challenge of automatic enrolment for small employers with a new interactive step-by-step website guide.

From next year, up to 1.8 million small and micro employers will begin approaching the date when their workplace pension duties come into effect.

The regulator’s simplified step-by-step guide is designed to meet the specific needs of these employers who may not have pensions experience, including those with just one or two staff.

The guide provides clear and accessible information for employers on what to do, and by when, using videos, animations and infographics.

Minister for Pensions, Baroness Altmann, said:

"Automatic enrolment has been a great success so far but, as we start the process of rolling it out to the UK’s smallest employers, we need to tailor our support to make sure it is fit for purpose.

"I believe simplification is vital and The Pensions Regulator has made great strides in modernising its language and approach, to help employers. This new interactive step-by-step guide is an excellent initiative to help even the smallest employers fulfil their automatic enrolment duties and comply with the law."

The Pensions Regulator’s Executive Director for automatic enrolment Charles Counsell said:

"We have worked hard to make the language of pensions simpler for a new audience of small and micro employers with little or no pension’s experience. Our website now presents clear options for those small and micro employers who don’t have complex workforces and want instructions on how to comply without having to wade through lots of details.

"Workplace pensions do not need to be complex for the hundreds of thousands of employers who have still to meet their legal duties. Many micro employers have just one member of staff. We are helping them to navigate a straightforward path to successfully completing automatic enrolment."

The new online journey includes the following:

  • A duties checker: To help employers understand which duties apply to them, there are interactive questions which allow an employer to quickly establish if they will need to put any staff into a pension scheme.
  • A step-by-step guide for those who do not employ staff eligible for automatic enrolment, including how to provide a pension scheme for employees who still ask to join one.
  • It provides a streamlined journey for those with domestic workers and those who employ a personal care assistant.
  • Videos, animation and infographics all helping employers understand what automatic enrolment is and what they need to consider when choosing a pension scheme.

The Pensions Regulator is urging all employers to use the duties checker on its website to find out which legal duties apply to them. Employers will receive customised communications relevant to their situation after using the duties checker to tell the regulator about their circumstances.

Those people who employ personal care assistants can identify themselves through this route or by phone.

As well as updates to the website, the regulator’s supporting publications, letters and the emails we send to employers have also been redesigned. They have been simplified to meet the needs of different types of employers – for instance those employers who have duties but have no staff who need to be automatically enrolled now have specific letters suitable for them.

Editor's notes

  • 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).
  • For information on the numbers of employers due to stage in the next three years, see p.32–33 of the latest Commentary and Analysis report published in July.

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