In their third annual automatic enrolment commentary and analysis, the Pensions Regulator has set out its auto enrolment priorities for the next year. From targeting industry sectors at risk of noncompliance to beginning the processes for re-enrolment, it looks like it will be a busy twelve months for the Regulator.
Communication with micro businesses
With a significant number of micro and small businesses yet to auto enrol, the Pensions Regulator will be continuing its communication with micro employers ensuring that they are aware of the tools available to them and that they are suitable for this audience. They will be utilising a variety of methods including social media channels and a national advertising campaign.
Certain industries are deemed to being at a greater risk of noncompliance when it comes to auto enrolment. These include retail, construction and catering/hospitality. The Pensions Regulator will be targeting these sectors specifically to ensure compliance.
Engagement with advisors and professional bodies
Recognising the crucial importance of advisers in the auto enrolment process, the Pensions Regulator will be engaging more with them and relevant professional bodies in the hope that this will help disseminate information, advice and best practice.
With auto enrolment being something that is perceived to be hard work and complicated by many micro businesses, the Pensions Regulator will be providing businesses with a simple step-by-step process to help simplify how they can identify their duties and obligations.
Adapting communication to specific groups
The Pensions Regulator has recognised that certain employers may have very specific requirements concerning both communication and information. This could include people who employ their own carer for example. They will be looking at providing communication that is specifically tailored for these types of groups.
Trust Based Schemes
Trust based schemes will be focussed on particularly by the Pensions Regulator to ensure that the increasing amount of people being enrolled into these types of scheme are done so correctly and the schemes are administered and governed well.
Re enrolment is the process that occurs every three years after a business' staging date, and is essentially a repeat of the auto enrolment process. Businesses must re-enrol eligible staff into a pensions scheme if they are not already active in one. Of course, staff are entitled to opt out if necessary. As the first employers to auto enrol in 2012 are due to re-enrol in 2015, communicating their duties will be of particular importance to The Pensions Regulator over the next 12 months.