One of the biggest changes impacting benefits provision in recent years is the introduction of auto enrolment.
Introduced to address the shortfall in retirement provision, the requirement to automatically enrol employees into a qualifying pension scheme commenced in October 2012.
Every employer with two or more employees will be legally obliged to automatically enrol all eligible job-holders within their company. Those eligible are those working in the UK, aged between 22 and the state pension age and earning more than the threshold of £10,000 per annum for tax year ending 5th April 2015.
The date an employer needs to comply with legislation is called their Staging Date and is based on the number of employees they employed as at April 2012. Larger employees stage earlier (more than four million workers from over 21,000 employers are now successfully enrolled into workplace pensions and are saving for their futures) and the turn of smaller employers is rapidly approaching.
Speaking to Premier Construction, Welplan Pensions Business Development Manager, Mike Jenkins, said:
“As smaller companies start staging, there are added considerations. Whereby larger companies may have a Pensions Manager (or even a Pensions Team), the responsibility for automatic enrolment in smaller companies is likely to fall on the shoulders of the payroll administrator, or even the MD themselves in the very smallest of companies. To add further pressure, many of the big insurance providers have not yet indicated that they will be prepared to deal with companies at the smallest end of the market. This can make finding a provider, and complying with auto enrolment responsibilities that much harder, and it is essential that smaller employers find a provider that can support them through the entire process.”
“Welplan Pensions is designed to meet the auto-enrolment requirements of the construction sector and we have resources, either in person or over the phone, to guide clients of all sizes through the process. Welplan is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Building & Engineering Services Association, providing pensions and employee benefits for a range of specialist industries, including building and engineering services, engineering construction and the thermal insulation contracting industry. With more than 50 years’ experience working with clients of all sizes, Welplan has the flexibility to provide bespoke benefits to meet the requirements of individual groups or single employers, ensuring that it can provide industry-wide solutions rather than just solutions for individual employers. In a sector with such a mobile workforce, the ability to offer an industry-wide solution is paramount, and it can take a lot of hassle away from individual employers.”
Welplan can assist with the implementation and administration of the scheme; all the while making sure employers are kept in the loop with updates regarding any changes to regulation which they need to know in order to stay on the right side of the law. Assessing a company’s workforce is key, not everyone is eligible to be enrolled and those automatically enrolled do have the option to opt-out. In this instance, the employer is required to re-enrol employees every three years, whereby they can opt-out again should they choose to do so.
With communications support and templates to raise awareness and participation amongst employees, Welplan can help employers of all sizes keep on top of the requirements for enrolment, opt-outs and re-enrolments.
“Welplan provides an all-round solution, whereby the employer only has to deal with one provider who can pick up all the company’s workforce – managerial, clerical and operatives.
“Welplan can assist employers in managing the process and reduce the stress of compliance and regulatory burden; providing a simple administrative system and dedicated support. The next step you need to take as a business is to remain diligent, and ensure you are aware of how this new legislation affects your business and remain mindful of your timeframe – don’t get caught short for time.”
To arrange a conversation with a dedicated account manager, contact Welplan on 0800 1958080 or for further information, visit: www.welplan.co.uk/pensions.