Of the first smaller employers to begin the auto enrolment process, the Pensions Regulator has revealed that more than 90% of them have complied with legislation and successfully placed their eligible employees into a workplace pension. The number of smaller business that have so far come under the auto enrolment rollout numbers 12,000 and it is good to see that the vast majority have gone through the auto enrolment process without the regulator having to use their powers. Although approximately 10% may have had to have had a nudge of enforcement action, it looks positive for the remaining rollout of auto enrolment amongst the nation's small and micro businesses.
Baroness Ros Altmann, the Government's Minister for Pensions was delighted with the figures:
"The latest figures highlight the on-going success of auto-enrolment. It is really encouraging to see that so far, the vast majority of small and micro employers have set up a workplace pension for their staff and are helping them on their way to a more financially secure retirement. From now on, the smallest employers will start to meet their obligations and we must ensure they know what to do and have help if they need it."
The latest figures mean that nearly 6 million people have been auto enrolled into a workplace pension and by the end of the process the figure will be closer to 9 million, which is 9 million people saving towards retirement that weren't before, which is a fantastic result for the government and a big help towards helping solve the looming pensions crisis.
The Pensions Regulator has also released figures that show the total amount of statutory notices and fines issued:
- Total number of compliance notices issued: 4818
- Total number of £400 fixed penalty fine notices: £1594
One thing that has been clear from these figures is that there have been an increase in the more recent months, which seems to indicate that whilst most smaller businesses are complying with auto enrolment, some are tending to leave auto enrolment to the last minute and risking incurring a statutory notice or fine.
Although small businesses so far seem to be coping with auto enrolment very well, it's crucial that those smaller businesses who are yet to auto enrol start looking into the process early to give themselves enough time to do it properly and not risk a fine or statutory notice from the Pensions Regulator.