Creating a scene
Most prominent was the October launch of the Department for Work and Pensions’ controversial awareness-raising campaign, Workie, featuring a large blue monster with the slogan, Don’t Ignore the Workplace Pension. It may not have been to everyone’s taste, but it certainly got a lot of people talking.
More recently, the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) Friends of AE warned that the next few years could see widespread non-compliance from employers due to bad planning, lack of external support at the right time and an inability to select a suitable compliant pension scheme. Pension mis-selling is also a huge concern: there have been many official warnings about the rise of pension scams and earlier in November, the first ever arrests relating to auto-enrolment fraud were reported.
This October though, was especially significant for auto-enrolment: it marked auto enrolment’s third anniversary and so far, 5.5 million UK employees have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, with an additional 10 million employees yet to be included. This is now the job of smaller employers who are due to reach their staging dates between now and 2018 and who need to ensure they are complying with all relevant legislation.
But more than that, larger employers are now facing their first ‘cyclical automatic re-enrolment’ which, like the first stage of auto enrolment back in 2012, is likely to be just as complex, with many employers at risk of falling foul of their on-going duties. The business impact of increased pension contribution levels needs to be taken into account, an updated workforce analysis needs to be carried out and timings need to be considered.