We are now seven weeks from the first hike in the “minimum” requirements for auto-enrolment compliance (6 April 2018). In practical terms, for employers currently applying those statutory minimums this means that your employees will see an increase in their pension contributions from one per cent of their annual earnings between £6,032 and £46,350 (based on the 2018 figures) to three per cent.
This could come as something of a shock for employees who didn’t read the fine print on their auto-enrolment announcements as it will mean less money in their April pay packet (though more going into their pension savings).
There’ll also be an increase in the amount you have to pay in as an employer from one per cent of those banded earnings to two per cent.
Again, in practical terms, where staff are affected by this change in contributions it might be sensible to highlight this before the changes take effect noting that this is a statutory requirement. And of course we have a similar issue to look forward to in April 2019, when three per cent for employees and two per cent for employers become five per cent and three per cent respectively.
Just as a reminder, the Pensions Regulator has the ability to fine employers who don’t meet their auto-enrolment obligations and has recently announced a mix of fines and backdated contributions accruing to a bus company in excess of £32,000. Given that the employer had 35 staff it shows that it pays to be compliant with these legal obligations and it’s never a bad time for a review.