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Small businesses are still uncertain over AE: Chambers of Commerce

Small businesses are still uncertain over AE: Chambers of Commerce

Many small and micro-businesses are still in the dark about changes to pension regulation, the executive director of commercial services at the British Chambers of Commerce, has warned.

In the lead-up to a series of seminars on auto-enrolment, hosted by BCC and Aviva for small and micro-businesses, David Riches said: “It is important that businesses are aware of these changes so that they can plan for them, and best mitigate the financial impact these changes could have.”

Mr Riches’ comments came after research by The Pensions Regulator showed that almost two-thirds of these small and micro-employers were not clear on the dates when they are expected to comply with new auto-enrolment regulations.

TPR estimated that over the next two years, 1.8m small and micro-business will need to respond to the new regulations, and if employers miss their date they could be fined.

Andrew Beswick, managing director of business solutions at Aviva, said: “Auto-enrolment will affect millions of employers over the coming months. The requirements are not always understood and can feel difficult to navigate for many.”

Adviser view

Simon Davis, wealth planning adviser at Gale and Phillipson, said: “Business owners will receive notification from TPR well in advance of their staging date and a number of auto-enrolment providers are now offering ‘self-service’ style online application portals, compatible with most well-known payroll software providers.

“My view is that the auto-enrolment process for most small or micro-businesses will be less onerous than first thought, although key to successfully adhering to the AE is making sure business owners do their research and plan for this at least six months in advance of their staging date.”