Pension changes due for businesses

Businesses need to be aware of changes to rules around pensions and how it will affect them - according to a Horsham-based trustee service provider.

Every business in the country will soon need to have pension arrangements in place for their workforce, with some more ready than others according to Maralyn Thomas, director of Castle Pension Trustees and Consultants.

From October, 2012, the law changed. So businesses must now enrol qualifying members of their workforce into a suitable pension arrangement, and make payments into it.

Larger businesses start first, and smaller ones follow. Businesses with 240 or more affected people will need to be ready by March 2014.

The automatic enrolment requirements cover a wider category than just employees. Contractors, consultants, casual and agency workers and secondees can also be covered.

One of the items which businesses will need to think about is what pension arrangements they will put their workforce into. Do they already have a suitable arrangement, or will they need something new?

The more time-consuming part of the exercise, though, is project management. Experience has shown that it takes around 12 months to put the necessary arrangements in place. Representative from HR, payroll, IT, pensions and communications will all need to be involved.

The starting point is to find out when the business must have everything ready. This can be checked on the Pensions Regulator’s website

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