Employers should take immediate action if their staging date falls in 2013. Even where their staging date is later, it is important to start preparing now.
Our top tips are:
- Find out and confirm your staging date - the Pensions Regulator has an interactive tool and a timeline with further advice for businesses employing fewer than 50 people.
- Form a pensions working group. Our experience suggests that large and medium-sized employers need to have an implementation project. To be successful, this requires engagement from senior executives and representatives from HR, pensions, payroll, I.T. and advice from legal, actuarial and benefit advisers.
- Conduct a workforce analysis to determine who your 'workers' are and consider difficult groups e.g. secondments, overseas workers, work experience and placement students, contractors and agency workers.
- Review your payroll and work out which elements of the payroll will be considered 'qualifying earnings' for the purpose of worker classification and, if applicable, minimum contribution calculations.
- Review your current pension arrangements to establish whether they are qualifying schemes which can be used to fulfil your duties in respect of eligible workers who are already active members of those schemes.
- Consider whether you will be using your current pension arrangements as automatic enrolment schemes to fulfil your duties concerning eligible workers who are not already active members of those schemes. You will also need to consider whether amendments to the schemes will be needed. Engage with the Trustees to discuss approaches to workplace pension reform.
- Review the extensive resources available on the Pensions Regulator's automatic enrolment area and our own workplace pension reform microsite.