Thousands of small businesses face costly fines as the latest pensions auto-enrolment staging phase opens, DSH Chartered Accountants & Business Advisors has warned.
From June 1, companies with fewer than 30 employees have begun to be phased into the scheme that is designed to ensure that employees are saving for retirement.
However, with some surveys suggesting that more than one-in-four small businesses have yet to prepare for the process, Colleen Wendell, Payroll Manager at DSH’s Maidstone office, is warning that could be an expensive oversight.
“There has been plenty of publicity surrounding auto-enrolment staging dates, but some business owners, particularly those who run SMEs, do appear to have been putting off preparing for their date, treating it as something that can be done another day,” said Colleen.
“Unfortunately, that day is now imminent for small businesses and unless those owners act, and quickly, they face the very real prospect of being hit with fines that many can probably ill afford.”
Colleen warned that complying with auto enrolment regulations can be a time-consuming process.
“There are a number of stages companies need to go through,” she said. “Firstly, a suitable pension scheme needs to be identified and staff need to be consulted and communicated with.
“Employers must also work out how much they will have to contribute to each staff member’s pension scheme and ensure that employees are correctly enrolled.
“After all of that, they need to complete a declaration of compliance to show the authorities their scheme is in place.”
Colleen warned that this applies to any business that employs one or more members of staff.
“There are no shortcuts and we would urge any small business owner who is in any doubt as to whether they are in a position to comply with the auto enrolment regulations to talk to a professional advisor as soon as possible,” she added.
Anyone with concerns over auto enrolment can contact Colleen Wendell on 01622 690666 or visit www.dsh.co.uk.