Pensions & Auto Enrolment

COMPULSORY PENSIONS GET EVER NEARER

It just may be an age thing, but the world of pensions is increasingly becoming a topic of reluctant interest particularly the implications of ‘auto enrolment’ for member groups.

Auto Enrolment or Workplace Pensions (#dontignoreit) is the catchy name for the Westminster Governments means to get everyone who is working to pay into a compulsory work based pension scheme given the numerous horror stories about the reducing ability of the state pension to sustain itself in the future.

You may want to ask what this has to do with your organisation. Well, sadly the answer to that is a hell of a lot!

If you employ any staff who currently earn more than £10,000 per annum (and there are earning thresholds for under 21 years and over state pension age) then you are required by law to enrol them into a ‘qualifying’ pension scheme which they and you as the employer must contribute to.

Most affected by this will be those organisations who are relatively small and have no current work pension scheme in place. In our membership community based youth and after school clubs are at most risk, but even larger organisations may draw staff into the frame who haven’t been included in the past. To cap it all there is a very rigid rolling timetable as to when you are required to have your scheme operating by which is based on number of employees and your inland revenue tax number. As it is a compulsory scheme then Government can and will fine organisations that haven’t registered by the deadline set.

So whether you think pensions are an important contribution to good staff terms & conditions and help retention of staff or are another admin and financial burden you have to face, it doesn’t really matter. Auto enrolment is happening and all organisations irrespective of size will need to have their schemes in place by early 2017. Advice from pension providers and auditors suggest you need to start the process of getting set up at least a year to eighteen months in advance of whatever ’staging’ date you’ve been allocated.

LAYC appreciate that this can be very daunting which is why we brought in enrolme.co.uk , a local pension company that  specialises in auto enrolment to deliver a number of ‘idiot guide’ seminar over the past year. A very useful updated booklet accompanied the seminars and has been included in the LAYC Membership Pack 2015-16 which provides some detailed and step by step information.

LAYC paid enrolme.co.uk our standard fee for running training on our behalf in order to make it clear that we have no financial tie up or get any benefit from the company. Following the second of these seminars a number of member groups asked if we could try and negotiate a discounted deal with enrolme.co.uk on their set and year support package. This we did and resulted in a discounted fixed fee package exclusive to LAYC members. To view or download the guide with the details of the enrolme.co.uk support package click on the link here.

Our auditors Geoghegans have produced a guide to pension auto enrolment and both The Pension Regulator (www.thepensionregulator.gov.uk) and NEST (National Employers Savings Trust www.nestpensions.org.uk) have a raft of information and templates if you are looking to set the scheme yourself.

As with the seminars LAYC is not receiving any financial nor other benefits from the company concerned and it is up to individual member groups to determine if is something they would want to take up or not. We are not able nor in a position to provide advice on these matters.

However, if you want to talk through the generalities of auto enrol then don’t hesitate to get in touch with LAYC.

Other Pensions

A number of voluntary organisations are members of a final salary scheme called the Scottish Voluntary Sector Pension Scheme (SVSPS) which closed down some 5 years ago but those organisations in membership are still, and will be for sometime, paying a hefty recovery debt to prevent it going under.

As part of a campaign to bring the serious plight of 3rd sector pensions to politicians at both Holyrood and Westminster, LAYC and EVOC produced a briefing paper to outline the  potential consequences involved. To view or download click on this pension briefing paper link and if you get the chance to raise it with politicians or the likes of SCVO then please do so.

Payroll Services

A key aspect of getting your auto enrol set up and maintained successfully is your payroll which will be the means to check what pension payments are required to be made and when. LAYC have negotiated  a client rate for the pay roll service offered by Geoghegans (even if you don’t go with enrol.me.com for your auto enrol set up and support) for LAYC member groups only.  The payroll rates can be view or downloaded here.