Pension auto enrolment – top tips | Wilson Organisation

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January 2, 2014

Pension auto enrolment – top tips

Pension auto enrolment – top tips

A panel of pension, legal and payroll specialists updated businesses from around the Midlands on the need to prepare for pension auto enrolment. The event, held at Nottingham’s BioCity on 26 November, was chaired by  Gary Cormack and the panel consisted of Ian Baguley of Wilsons, Ginny Hallam of Halborns, Chloe Hughes and Doug Perry of Clayton & Brewill

Ian kicked off the presentations with some sobering facts on our aging population and the thinking behind the government’s desire to get us all saving at an earlier stage for retirement. With auto enrolment due to hit most businesses in the room in the latter half of 2015 and beyond, it was clear to see though that Ian’s message of ‘plan early if you want options’ was landing on willing ears!

For those of you who were unable to make the event, here are some of the top tips shared by our panel.

Know your key dates! Visit the pension regulator website to find out your staging date. If it’s less than 12 months away you should have had a letter from the regulator.

Plan early if you want a choice of pension scheme. With many schemes filling up quickly, businesses need to be talking to pension providers at least 12 months before their staging date.

Do your workforce due diligence as early as possible. Make sure you have employee contact details, including an email address where possible, date of birth and national insurance number. And work out a method for keeping this up to date.

Check that your payroll software can cope. Plan for a ‘parallel payroll’ the first time.

The financial burden of auto enrolment falls on both employer and employee. Consult early with your employees and allow them to plan ahead for the change in their take home pay.

Update your whistle-blowing policy. The regulator can impose hefty fines for non-compliance.. make sure you are the first to know of any problems!

Use the three-month postponement facility with new starters. By tying it in to the end of your probation period you can make sure they are the right fit for your business before enrolling them into the pension scheme.

Make sure you know whom you employ! Think about anyone on long-term sick or employees on different sites.

Bring forward the cut-off date for commission and overtime notifications. Payrolls will take longer under auto enrolment.

Take control of the situation by planning early. If you rely on the NEST scheme you will get no help with administration or employee communication.

Use your pension scheme as an incentive to help you recruit good people.

If you employ agency workers, make sure that the agency is the employer and not you. Think about your record-keeping. You will have to assess your workforce every time you do the payroll – be it weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Make sure you have a method to track employee eligibility. This gets especially interesting when employees dip in and out of eligibility due to fluctuating earnings from shift work, overtime and commission payments.

Find out more
If you would like our help planning for pension auto enrolment, or just want to know whether you’re on the right  email Charlotte Perkins or call 0115 9420 111.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

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Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)