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Friday, 21 November 2014

How many companies will need help with automatic enrolment?

TPR(The Pensions Regulator) says:

"Our research has revealed that at least 78% of small businesses will be relying on their advisers for support to ensure they comply with changes to workplace pensions law. And with tens of thousands of small and micro employers needing to be ready by the summer of 2015 (see chart on right), you can expect to be approached by your clients very soon."

We are here to help you. Please telephone Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9520, or e-mail him on Please visit our website

ACS (Association of Convenience Stores) warning on Auto- Enrolment pensions for smaller retailers:

The Auto-Enrolment pension scheme legislation could prove “a significant operational and financial burden on small retailers,” the ACS has warned.

Under the scheme, which started being rolled out by the government in 2012, all staff must be enrolled in a pension when starting employment unless. Many convenience stores will have to start enrolling their staff from June 2015.

Employers will be required to pay 1% of an employee’s annual earnings into the pension scheme. This rises to 3% by 2018.
“Retailers are facing increased costs in many areas of their business, including above-inflation increases in the minimum wage and changes to statutory sick pay regulations,” said ACS CEO James Lowman.

“Auto enrolment has the potential to be a significant operational and financial burden on small retailers, and we are keen to work with the Department of Work and Pensions to minimise the costs of implementation while ensuring that all retailers are aware of what is required.”

In its submission to the Work and Pensions Select Committee, the ACS said nearly half of micro employers did not know the exact date when they needed to comply, leaving them at risk of financial penalties because of non-compliance, and disproportionately affecting the smallest businesses in the convenience sector.
It also said the high administrative cost of dealing with very small pension contributors meant pension providers were more likely to reject smaller employers.

For the original article, go to:

The clear message is Don’t get caught out. Act sooner rather than later.

We can help you fulfill your Auto-Enrolment legal duties. Please phone Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9529, or e-mail Please also visit our website

From The Pensions Regulator (TPR), 30th October 2014: “Enforcement Activities Increase"

Our latest figures on Automatic-Enrolment compliance and enforcement show an increase in the number of times we have exercised our powers against employers. This includes the first use of fines relating to Automatic-Enrolment.

The quarterly report includes details on particular areas of non-compliance and highlights common misunderstandings by employers about their duties.

As the number of employers staging rises significantly, we expect to see an increase in how often we need to use our statutory powers. This is based on our research among medium, small and micro employers, which shows that these employers are more likely to leave Automatic-Enrolment preparations until closer to their staging date. We believe that this is likely to lead to more employers being non-compliant with their duties.

Advertising targets small and micro businesses:

As Automatic-Enrolment celebrated its second birthday, we launched a major nationwide media campaign aimed at raising awareness among smaller employers and their advisers. Look out for our advertisements in the press, online and on radio.”

Don’t get caught out. We can help you fulfil your Auto-Enrolment legal duties. Please phone Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9529, or e-mail . Please also visit our website #BeyondBetter

First Auto-Enrolment Fines Handed Out

The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR’s) latest quarterly update on its investigations into Auto-Enrolment confirms that it has served three firms with £400 fixed penalties for failing to comply with an unpaid contributions notice or a compliance notice.

It can only get worse because, whilst more than 33,000 large and medium sized employers have already begun auto-enrolling staff, there are a further 1.25 million due to hit their staging dates over the next three years. There is a huge capacity crunch looming, as there will be an insufficient number of advisory firms available to help these employers comply with their legal duties. The message has to be, act early before the tsunami hits.

TPR executive director for Automatic-Enrolment Charles Counsell says:

“As we deal with smaller employers, we will see more who, despite our message to prepare early, leave it too late or do not comply at all. This type of non-compliance is not acceptable. We expect to see the number of times we need to use our powers increase.

The regulator has a range of powers to tackle non-compliance including serving fixed penalty notices and escalating daily penalties notices.”

We can help. Please phone Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9529 or e-mail Please visit our website

Friday, 24 October 2014

Comment from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) on breaches for Auto-Enrolment non-compliance

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) executive director for Auto-Enrolment (A-E), Charles Counsell, commenting on breaches for non-compliance said:

“As our knowledge of employer behaviour has developed over the past two years so has our intelligence and resource allocation to tackling non-compliance. We adopt a risk based approach in targeting our resources where they have the most impact and, although the number of investigations has risen, we have been very successful in working with employers to remedy breaches where they have occurred, without needing to use our statutory powers.

“We have also taken proactive steps working with high-risk employers to prevent non-compliance. Where we have taken enforcement action by issuing a compliance notice, this has given employers the necessary wake-up call to provide the pensions their employees are due.”

The regulator has a range of powers to tackle non-compliance including serving penalty notices of up to £10,000 a day for the largest employers, but is yet to fine a firm.

We can help with you’re A-E problems. Call Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9529 or e-mail me on Please visit our website

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Auto-Enrolment News

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) issued an announcement earlier this year, encouraging small and medium-sized employers to check when they are required to Auto-Enrol, after awareness and understanding research indicated that 47 per cent did not know when they needed to act.

Information released then by the Regulator under the Freedom of Information Act indicated there were 134 breaches of Auto-Enrolment duties between October 1 2012 and January 31 2014.

This resulted in 129 instances of informal action being taken, including instructions via telephone, email, in person, and warning letters. The Regulator also took formal action, which included issuing four compliance notices and one unpaid contribution notice, but at the time of the announcement, no fines had yet been issued.

Charles Counsell, executive director of Auto-Enrolment at the Regulator, said the watchdog has concentrated on creating a “pro-compliance culture”, so that employers have the information they need in order to comply with the requirements.

“We are also working with employers to rectify anything that has gone wrong,” he said. “We have only needed to use our statutory powers six times, but we are not complacent and realise that the greatest challenge remains ahead with small and micro employers.”
For employers concerned about this, we can help. Contact Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9529, or e-mail:

Are your employees among the 4 million plus Auto-Enrolled? If not, we can help:

More than four million workers from over 21,000 employers are now successfully enrolled into workplace pensions and are saving for their futures.

The latest figures are published in The Pensions Regulator’s (TPR) monthly Declaration of compliance (registration) report . Thousands of small and medium-sized businesses are now complying with the new laws every month as Auto-Enrolment gathers momentum

TPR writes to all employers 12 months from their staging dates to make them aware of their staging date and what they need to do to be ready.

To find out more about Auto-Enrolment and how we can help, please contact Bernard Macken on 0113 202 9529 or .

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Banks are reluctant to lend to small businesses....

Banks are reluctant to lend to small businesses. Pension led funding may provide a solution – see attached. We can help.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Updated statistics on the numbers of Employers becoming subject to Automatic Enrolment duties over the next four years

Updated statistics on the numbers of employers becoming subject to automatic enrolment duties over the next four years have been released today.

The forecast shows how many employers reach their staging date each quarter have made them available to help the pensions industry plan and prepare to meet their clients’ needs.

The figures underline the scale of the challenge ahead, with around 30,000 medium-sized employers (50-250 workers) reaching their staging date between this April and the end of the year.

We can help you. Contact Bernard Macken 0113 202 9529 or