Here you will find a host of case studies, policies and other documents which provide further information about Enrol My Staff, its operations and the way it is helping small and medium sized businesses throughout the UK manage their workplace pension obligations more efficiently than ever.
In Oxfordshire there are more than 1,000 agency workers paid weekly in a business with fewer than 100 permanent employees paid monthly. Auto Enrolment was to become a very complex project in which the benefits to employees and to the employer soon became apparent as did the need for precise, comprehensive up to date payroll software. Apparent to all that is, except the payroll company.
The Independent Financial Adviser communicated with the current pension provider which was unable, or perhaps unwilling to accommodate more than 1,000 temps whose service was generally measured in months not years many of these close to the minimum wage.
A trust based multi-employer scheme was sourced as the most suitable and willing to take all employees. The payroll provider wrote a programme to accommodate the complexities of the case although a few anomalies have arisen since the Staging Date and subsequent Postponement, all of which was identified by the diligence of the Financial Adviser and directors of Enrol My Staff.
Interestingly, employees leaving service within 3 months of being enrolled into the pension scheme will receive a refund of their contributions after a tax deduction with no loss as they will have benefited from tax relief at the time of payment. Attention employers; The Employer will also receive a refund in these circumstances. For those leaving service with between 3 months and 2 years’ service the member can choose to have a benefit retained in the scheme or a refund. If the latter the employer would also be entitled to a refund of his or her contributions.
For businesses with seasonal or short term employment needs this arrangement can be extremely beneficial in both cost and administrative aspects to both the employer and the employee. The refund facility is only available from occupational pensions schemes and even then, only if the rules permit it. A valuable option for certain types of business which, according to the Pensions Minister may not be available for much longer.
This time we are looking at a Hampshire engineering company with 90 employees in two limited companies each with its own payroll. Historically there has been a pension scheme for senior management with one insurer and a Stakeholder arrangement with another available to members and to fulfil the employers’ Stakeholder Pension duties under existing legislation. The workforce numbers are quite stable and includes a small number of part time workers and others who are over State Pension Age.
The two insurers currently providing a service appear to be willing to accommodate the employer albeit, strictly on their terms, the customer does not appear to have control.
Before deciding whether to invest circa £1,400 on specific software plus training and admin time, the employer, with project management from EMS, is negotiating the use of the insurers Auto Enrolment processing software. This is a work in progress with the insurer dictating the terms, take it or leave it!
Meanwhile, the payroll department is finding out more about their software than they could ever have imagined. Auto Enrolment can be relatively straightforward with the right guidance, the correct software and an understanding of the regulation, even if you do not understand why such complexity was considered to be necessary.
To the end of January 2014 just over 10,000 employers had registered a Qualifying Workplace Pension Scheme with the Pensions Regulator. One of those, Dunelm Mill, with 127 branches and 6,600 employees was, unfortunately, named and shamed by tPR for failings in its processes.
Please try to understand the resources available to a company of this size, both human and IT related. Then consider how your business might cope with Auto Enrolment.
Dunelm Mill failed to register its scheme within the Regulator’s 4 month deadline from its Staging Date, this has since risen to 5 months. They mis-calculated and, as a result, underpaid contributions for their employees of £143,000. The Regulator issued an enforcement notice and, apart from an initial delay, the company co-operated fully with the Regulator’s investigation, rectified the failings and are now compliant.
It emerged during the investigation that key employees managing the Auto Enrolment process left the company during the project and the purpose built software designed to assess and process payroll data was seriously flawed and did not meet the standards required. Although the regulator commented that the registration process was late being completed and did not match their expectations no fines were levied as the company did not deliberately set out to mislead and did co-operate with the investigation.
The Regulator had issued 134 Section 89 Notices at that time from 590 investigations. We can help you to avoid inadvertently becoming a named and shamed statistic.