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From Adviser Guide: Auto-Enrolment

Q: How long will it take to get employers ready for AE?

That depends on the size and complexity of the organisation, according to Graham Vidler, director of communications and engagement at Nest.

By Emma Ann Hughes | Published Jul 19, 2012 | comments

As a guide, Mr Vidler said larger employers need to start planning 18 months ahead of their staging date. Smaller employers may need less time than this; Mr Vidler said 12 months was a guide.

Andrew Towner, director of employee benefits at Cartlidge Morland, said it is never too early to start the process but it depends on what pension arrangements they currently have in place.

He said there are many aspects to consider, for example whether a current pension scheme is deemed to meet the qualification criteria.

For those in control of the employer’s purse strings, for example, finance directors, Mr Towner said it was imperative they were aware of the financial implications of any introduction or amendments to the company’s pension spend as soon as possible, as budgets are often compiled well in advance.

Mr Towner said The Pensions Regulator will write to employers to inform them of their staging date 12 months in advance and so perhaps employees should also be given a similar length of time to understand the implications and the options that are available to them.

Steve Wood, a senior consultant for Helm Godfrey, said the larger employers with earlier staging dates would no doubt be a long way down the road in terms of readiness.

In general, Mr Wood said a huge range of factors would need to be considered when it comes to getting ready for automatic enrolment and for companies with little or no experience of establishing pension schemes for employees, there would be a lot of work to be done.

Mr Wood said: “While automatic enrolment may appear daunting for many employers, a competent corporate adviser will be able to help ensure a smooth path to readiness.”

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