Small businesses are becoming more complacent with their auto-enrolment duties, according to a study.
Research by NOW:Pensions found only 35% of firms had planned 6 months or more in advance to register their staging date, falling slightly from 38% in Q4 and Q3 2016. Of the businesses that signed up with the pensions provider in Q1 2017, a record-breaking 46% registered their staging date either very close or after the deadline.
1 in 4 (25%) missed their staging date deadline, while 21% contacted the provider within a month of the staging date.
Morten Nilsson, chief executive of NOW:Pensions, said:
“It’s clear from our figures that an increasing number of firms are burying their heads in the sand when it comes to their auto-enrolment duties.
“This can be costly as The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has begun to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to employers who miss their staging date deadline which, if left ignored, can escalate into a County Court Judgement and could negatively impact the company’s credit file and their ability to secure funding in the future.
“Our message to these employers is to plan well ahead, ideally up to 6 months before their staging date, as this will ensure enough time is given to comply with their auto-enrolment duties as set out by TPR.
“Auto-enrolment is complicated so the longer firms allow themselves to tackle it, the more confident and comfortable they’ll feel.”