By now, all small businesses should be aware of workplace pensions. You might have seen the advertising on TV – ‘Workplace Pensions. We’re All In’. That may already be true of the country’s largest businesses, but to smaller businesses and their employees, implementation is now looming large on the horizon. If you employ one or more qualifying people, then at some point you will have to comply and set up a qualifying Auto Enrolment Pension Scheme. The Pensions Regulator has lots of useful information about workplace pensions on their website.
Your staging date, which is when your scheme has to be up and running, will vary according to your PAYE employer tax reference. According to The Pensions Regulator Employer Staging Forecast (made in Jan 2014) around 46,000 businesses will be staging in 2015. This number will rise to 512,000 businesses in 2016. All businesses staging dates should be complete by Feb 2018.
In addition to this, there have been big changes in how personal pension benefits can be accessed (which will be fully implemented from 6th April 2015). Many of your employees will have pension pots accumulated from their own saving, previous employment or contracting out of SERPS or the state second pension (S2P).
Answering Employees Questions
As a result of these changes, pensions are currently a hot topic and as an employer you may be asked questions which you are not able to answer about your employee’s personal retirement provision. There may also be a lot of discussion in the workplace about pensions – including uncertainty, scepticism and incorrect understanding.
At Charles James Financial Planning Limited we have independent financial advisers who are able to run workshops and Q&A sessions at your premises to explain pensions and planning for retirement to your employees. We also offer an initial meeting with individuals to assess their personal financial situation, explain what happens if they require further advice and the cost to them. This initial meeting is free and without obligation.
How Can You Help?
All you need to do is provide half an hour or so off active duty for your employees and a location in which we can introduce ourselves and run a workshop on general information on pensions. This will include information for those who are nearing retirement. We appreciate it isn’t always possible to have everyone down tools at the same time, so we offer 2 or more sessions. Each individual can then decide, having met us, if they would like us to look at their own position in more detail.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if would like us to help tailor this service to your business or if you are an employee who would like to contact us directly.
Article by John Marshall BSc, DipFA, Independent Financial Adviser for Charles James Financial Planning Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority