The UK Automatic Enrolment Retirement Plan
In 2008, the UK initiated legislation that make possible an automatic enrolment retirement and pension programs for all eligible employees. Under the Pension Act of 2008, all employers are required to implement the scheme so that eligible employees will have sufficient money set aside to assist them when they retire.
It was determined that the population as a whole was not taking their retirement needs seriously enough to have adequate funds available when they retire. Given the fact that most people do live until retirement time, and the are tending to live much longer too.
No matter how large or how small, if a business employs anyone whether it is just one employee or thousands, they are required to participate in this act. The total required contribution is a minimum of 2% of wages in which the employer must contribute a minimum of at lease 1%.
The automatic enrolment factor makes the process more likely to create the desired results, as people are forced by the legislation to at least do something for themselves in this endeavour. The response from the public has been very favourable, especially from employees since the employer is kicking in at least 1% of their wages. Of course, the employer can contribute more than that amount if he or she wishes.
Employers were given staging dates starting, starting with April 1, 2012 when the time to start their plans began. This date was for existing employers, and those that are just going into business are given their staging dates accordingly.
Other duties include an accurate system for keeping records of who is participating among the employees, the percentages of contribution, the amounts contributed and the dates. This is to simply have a record so that if there are any problems or disputes that occur, the record can be referred to.
Employers are given PAYE reference numbers for the purpose of identification and ongoing ease of compliance. If an employer does not comply or does not participate in the plan, there are fines and penalties to ensure that it is done, and if that becomes an ongoing problem, the a court date is the answer.
The vast number of employers do want to do the right thing, and in most cases where there is no participation it is simply a matter of misunderstanding. The objective is to help employers work things out if they do not quite “get it” and to provide any assistance that is needed.
There is ample information of the government website along with a step-by-step walk through from beginning to end. This is a very well defined guide that anyone can follow in order to set up their scheme and come into compliance with the Act.
It is a comforting feeling for employees in knowing that there is a plan in place for them to systematically set aside money for their later years. Employees have a real advantage in the matter too, since there is employer money going into their account, it is especially attractive.