Around 97 per cent of the first wave of Liverpool employers to see their new automatic enrolment pensions duties come into effect have successfully fulfilled their responsibilities.
Under the Pensions Act 2008, employers must put eligible staff into a pension scheme and contribute towards it, and – according to The Pensions Regulator – the compliance rate of Liverpool businesses that have already seen automatic enrolment come into place sets a welcome president for the 6,000 small and micro employers who will need to enrol eligible staff in the near future.
“Such high compliance in Liverpool is excellent news and I look forward to seeing other small and micro employers across the city get their plans in place in good time,” says Charles Counsell, executive director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator.
Employers must ensure they have enrolled all eligible employees into a pension scheme 12 months before their duties start, or risk a fine. Employees who are aged 22 up to the state pension age, who have a weekly gross earning of over £192 (or over £833 a month), must be enrolled into a scheme.
In addition, those that do not qualify for mandatory enrolment can choose to opt in – meaning the employer must put them into a scheme that can be used for automatic enrolment and pay regular contributions.
“We provide clear, simple information on our website,” says Counsell. “There is a Duties Checker which is designed to help small and micro employers understand just what actions they need to take based on their circumstances and those of their staff.”
Scottish Widows retirement expert Lynn Graves says, “It’s great that small employers have embraced automatic enrolment in the same way as larger businesses. This will have a real impact on their employees’ futures, as many will now be saving in a pension for the first time.”