Now: Pensions said that of the companies signed up with it in the third quarter this year, over a third completed their application either very close to their staging date or after the deadline had passed.
Additionally, from these employers, over a quarter contacted the workplace pension provider within a month before their staging date, while 10 per cent left it until after their staging date had passed.
Thirty one per cent of firms signed up six months or more ahead of their staging date at the other end of the spectrum.
Another 12 per cent signed up with Now: Pensions between three and six months in advance of their auto-enrolment deadline. Alongside this, just over one in ten took action between one and two months ahead of their staging date, whilst 9 per cent took action two to three months ahead of staging,
Morten Nilsson, chief executive officer of Now: Pensions said that while a large proportion of employers are taking the regulator’s advice and planning well ahead for auto-enrolment, a growing number have been dragging their feet.
“Owners of smaller firms inevitably wear many hats and auto enrolment can come low on the priority list.
“But, like it or not, auto enrolment can’t be ignored and leaving it to the last minute inevitably results in more stress and more limited choice of pension providers.”