To defer or not to defer, that is the question.

Since 2012, when auto enrolment was rolled out across the UK, businesses have been inundated with news about staging dates, ongoing contributions and dreaded non-compliance fines. Given this, it’s no wonder that sometimes it seems attractive to defer the auto enrolment process and combat the process at a later date, this can be a sensible move for businesses with seasonal workers and workers on short term contacts. However an unexpectedly lengthy process can mean that deferring is more trouble than it’s worth.

Auto enrolment can be differed by an employer for up to three months, despite this it’s important to remember that deferment doesn’t mean a change in staging date and all employees must be informed of any action taken. Before deferment can take place, individuals must be assessed to determine where they are within the auto enrolment standings. During the period of postponement, employees have the chance to opt out of automatic enrolment.

By the end of postponement you must again, assess the status of the employees postponed to see if they’re still eligible for auto enrolment, those who are must be immediately added into a pension scheme.  After this no further postponements can take place.
A recent article from the financial adviser Light House Group explained that they “saw a surge of auto enrolment” throughout July and August and predicts this will last through till November, with many companies opting to defer in order for them to seek professional advice on auto enrolment. The report also demonstrates that even large employers with more available resources have struggled to comply with the auto enrolment regulations, mainly struggling with the strict time constraints.

Malcolm Streatfield explains “the reality is that deferment carries its own risks” and businesses “must decide which supplier they will use and the structure they will adhere to, while undertaking the mandatory requirement of notifying their employees with all the necessary information”

 We’ll help you decide whether deferring employees is the right thing to do, Ernest Grant can offer an “off the shelf” product to process your auto enrolment or create a bespoke program for business to become compliant.