Record numbers of small firms are missing their auto-enrolment deadline

46% of small businesses signed up either very close or after their staging date in the first quarter of 2017

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An increasing number of small businesses are missing the deadline for auto-enrolment, according to research from workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions.

Of the companies that signed up to the provider in the first quarter of 2017, a record number (46%) signed up either very close or after their staging date deadline had passed. Another 25% actually missed the deadline, a significant increase on the 18% in the third quarter of 2016, while 21% contacted the organisation within a month before the staging date.

However, 35% of small firms had planned six months or more ahead of their staging date – a decline on the 38% recorded in the final quarter of 2016.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, said: “There are an estimated 700,000 new businesses to stage until the end of auto-enrolment in April 2018. 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 has begun to issue fixed penalty notices to employers who miss their staging date deadline, which 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.”

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