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Summer 2014 auto-enrolment capacity crunch rapidly approaching says Sackers

Summer 2014 auto-enrolment & lsquo;capacity crunch’ rapidly approaching says Sackers
Sacker and Partners LLP (“Sackers”), the UK’s leading specialist pensions law firm, is warning medium sized employers to act now on their auto-enrolment plans to avoid next summer’s  rapidly approaching & lsquo;capacity crunch’.

From May to August 2014, The Pensions Regulator expects to see auto-enrolment on boarding accelerate to approximately 25,500 employers (those with PAYE schemes sized between 62-159), the figure for the same period in 2013 is approximately 650.*

Commenting on the problem, Ferdinand Lovett, solicitor, Sackers says:”& lsquo;Capacity crunch’ does not refer to the numbers of employees entering auto-enrolment in summer 2014, these numbers are actually higher for summer 2013. The issue is that while pension and payroll providers have managed so far in dealing with small numbers of employers, May – August 2014 will see a massive surge in employers who have reached their staging date and require advice and service from providers, but with the huge increased demand will providers have the capacity to cope?

“There are steps that employers can take now to avoid the capacity crunch: 

“Do not assume that your existing payroll/HR systems are auto-enrolment functional – early engagement with providers will help avoid the last minute rush.

“Assess current pension provision in your workforce – if there is a large tranche of employees not in pension saving, getting them engaged sooner rather than later should both minimise the number people needing to be automatically enrolled at the staging date (if you can get them into qualifying schemes before that date).

“If there is more than one employer/PAYE Scheme in the group, find out when the first staging date will be and decide early on whether you want to bring forward any staging dates of employers.  If the answer is "yes", make sure that your pension provider can handle the extra capacity and also that you inform the Regulator within the required time period (at least one month before the intended new staging date) so that your automatic enrolment plans are legally sound.”

* Figures from The Pensions Regulator.

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