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Feb 2014


Auto enrolment and the small employer

UK businesses with less than 30 employees will be impacted by auto enrolment from the start of 2016.

BrightPay will be a great aid with auto enrolment as it already has all the information required to assess which of your staff should be enrolled and then to handle the pension deductions (and your contributions) in the manner prescribed by the regulations.

Apart from assessing employees and handling deductions, there are numerous additional auto enrolment tasks that BrightPay will help you with. An example of this is producing the letters or emails that must be sent to your employees on enrolment (or postponement).

A month or two before your staging date (the date on which your auto enrolment responsibilities commence), decide which pension provider to use and register with that provider. NEST is probably the most popular scheme as it is government backed and has an obligation to accept employers of all sizes and employees of all earnings. This is different to some schemes who may attempt to cherry pick who they take on.

When your staging date arrives, an hour or two should be sufficient to deal with the following auto enrolment tasks:

  • enrolling all relevant employees (i.e. all eligible jobholders)
  • communicating as required to all employees
  • setting up and commencing employee deductions and employer contributions

BrightPay will guide you through the above tasks.

From that point on it is just a matter of monitoring. The initial month or two after staging you will need to deal with any requests from employees to opt out and any requests from employees, who you were not obliged to enrol, to opt in (or join).

BrightPay will monitor the age and earnings of your staff in each subsequent pay period to see if any further enrolments are required and if any new employees should be enrolled. For most small businesses, these enrolment events will probably happen no more than once or twice a year and each such event should only take a few minutes to process.

A contribution file will need to be submitted after each pay period to the pension provider and payments of all amounts due must be made by 22nd of the following month. This file will be produced by BrightPay in much the same way as RTI files are currently produced.

So, your new payroll workflow will be something like:

  1. Process hours, overtime etc.
  2. Deal with any enrolment events identified by your software
  3. Finalise the pay period
  4. Distribute payslips
  5. Submit RTI file to HMRC
  6. Submit contribution file to the pension provider

Steps 2 and 6 are new.

In conclusion, staging will be a small bit of work but, after that, auto enrolment should become a seamless part of your payroll process.

Posted byPaul ByrneinAuto EnrolmentPayroll SoftwareRTI