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Instant pensions duties start for new businesses

Ref: PN17-58

Issued: Friday 29 September 2017

Start-up businesses will from 1 October have a legal duty to put staff straight into a workplace pension as soon as they employ them.

Employers need to assess whether their new staff are eligible for automatic enrolment, and if they meet the criteria, they need to be put into a pension.

The start of instant pension duties coincides with the fifth anniversary of automatic enrolment and shows that providing a workplace pension is now simply part of running a business.

Since 2012, more than 8.5 million more people have begun saving into a workplace pension while nearly 800,000 employers have met their automatic enrolment duties.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has today launched a new online suite of information and tools for new businesses where they will find all the information they need about what to do and when.

TPR’s Director of Automatic Enrolment Darren Ryder added: “The start of instant pension duties for new businesses will continue the great strides automatic enrolment has made to reverse the downward trend in workplace saving.

“Providing a workplace pension is now the business norm and staff expect to be saving into a pension as part and parcel of their employment.

“Every employer who has successfully met their duties and done the right thing for their staff has contributed to the success of automatic enrolment.”

TPR has published its latest research into employer awareness and understanding of automatic enrolment which shows employers continue to think it is good for their staff.

TPR will also publish survey findings later this Autumn that show most of those who work with employers, such as accountants and independent financial advisers, are aware that new businesses will have instant pension duties.

Mr Ryder added: “Advisers play an important role in supporting employers, therefore it is vital they are equipped with the information they need so they can help their clients who are setting up a new business. I urge advisers to visit our website where they’ll find important information to help their clients successfully meet their automatic enrolment duties.”

Editor's notes

1. Other findings of the Spring 2017 employer awareness and understanding report:

  • awareness of ongoing duties has remained high with more than 80% being aware of ongoing tasks including paying in scheme contributions and monitoring staff eligibility
  • awareness of the increase to minimum contributions has risen from 52% in Autumn 2016 to 62% in Spring 2017
  • awareness and understanding of automatic enrolment is greater the closer an employer is to when their duties start

2. From 1 October, new businesses will no longer be given a date, known as a staging date, when their automatic enrolment duties will start. Instead they will have duties as soon as they employ someone for the first time. Before 1 October 2017, all employers were given a staging date, the last of which will be reached in February 2018.

3. TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to 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 TPR’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Ciara Bridge-Butler

Media Officer (AE)
01273 662018

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