The Government has warned veterinary practices to act now on automatic enrolment into work-based pensions as “the clock is ticking”.

According to The Pensions Regulator (TPR), under changes to pension laws, more than 5,000 of the country’s largest employers have already automatically enrolled more than 2.5 million workers. Next up is medium-sized employers – those with 150 to 249 workers – whose duty to automatically enrol (known as “staging”) will take place before August.

Executive director of automatic enrolment at TPR, Charles Counsell, said: “The clock is ticking and employers should act now. Leaving preparations too late can lead to non-compliance and this can come at a cost.   

“Automatically enrolling workers will go much more smoothly for employers that plan ahead and take a step by step approach. Starting preparations in good time means any challenges can be dealt with in a timely and unhurried way.”

The first step for an employer is to find out its staging date. This is set in law and is when an employer’s automatic enrolment duties are switched on. Once they know their staging date, said TPR, employers should use the regulator’s timeline planner, which shows what needs to be done and when.

Employers with April or May staging dates, said TPR, should have both a pension and software provider in place already, especially as it recommends these be sorted six months before staging. Employers should also decide if they need outside help, it said.

“With thousands of employers needing to make similar arrangements, it makes sense to act now and plan ahead,” it said.

Both the staging date tool and the timeline planner are available on the regulator’s website.

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