Auto-enrolment anxiety spreading among the UK’s small businesses

52% of small firms are worried they won't be ready to offer a workplace pension scheme within the government deadlines

The deadline for small businesses to have set-up an auto-enrolment pension scheme is fast approaching.

Yet, according to new research, 52% of the UK’s small businesses aren’t confident that their business will be ready to offer a workplace pension scheme within the government deadline.

Surveying 514 UK businesses with turnover of £500,000 or less, online business service Geniac found that small firms are in danger of incurring additional costs and penalties if they do not act soon.

By law, all small businesses must provide a workplace pension for eligible staff by 2018 with most small businesses (those with 30 staff or fewer) having to have done so by April 1 2017. Businesses without PAYE schemes must then start the auto-enrolment process from April 1.

Find out more about auto-entrolment and staging dates here.

If businesses fail to set-up an auto-enrolment pension scheme within these government deadlines then, according to The Pensions Regulator, they will face non-compliance fines of up to £500 a day.

Mike Galvin, Geniac co-founder, commented: “The fact that over half of small businesses are unprepared for auto-enrolment should ring alarm bells. Entrepreneurs must avoid sleepwalking up to the deadline as this could cost them dearly, particularly fledgling companies with limited budgets.

“Thousands of business owners are simply in the dark over how to handle this major administrative change, or are putting off sorting it because of the time involved.”

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