Who is affected?
The legislation affects all UK employers.
The legislation requires employers to automatically enrol their eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme. So, even if you employ just one person, you must ensure they are enrolled in a compliant scheme and you satisfy the compliance requirements of The Pensions Regulator.
You should assess your options from the range of qualifying workplace pension schemes.
Following a full evaluation of the schemes on offer we are delighted to provide an all-in-one solution that is tailored to architects and matches or beats the competition on key criteria such as cost, quality and ease of management. The RIBA Pension offers:
- A scheme delivered through market leaders
- An annual management charge of 0.44%, which is on par with or below the competition
- Broad investment choice with access to over 200 funds
- No restrictions or penalties on transfer of funds in and out of the scheme
- An easy to administer pension solution for your practice
When do you need to get moving?
There are a series of 'staging dates' by which you should have your auto enrolment pension scheme in place and the first contributions being made.
Your staging date depends on the size of your business; the larger your firm, the sooner you need to act:
| Number of employees
|| Staging date
October 2012 to February 2014
|250 to 50
|| April 2014 to April 2015
|49 to 30
|| August 2015 to October 2015
|| June 2015 to April 2017
You will receive a letter from The Pensions Regulator informing you of your staging date, about a year in advance. However, you can also check your date here.
The countdown to auto enrolment
6-12 months before staging, you should look at the strategic and budgetary implications of introducing an auto enrolment compliant pension scheme. You need to decide which pension solution to choose and you may want to carry out some employee consultations.
For a practice choosing the RIBA Pension, the recommended timeline is the following:
3-4 months before staging: complete the application form and employer fact find form and send them to HS Admin.
3 months before staging: you will receive the trustee counter-signed application form. At the same time, you will receive a secure email inviting you to sign up to the RIBA Pension employer portal and enter your detailed payroll information; this enables the automatic eligibility assessment of your employees.
2-3 months before staging: you will receive your worker assessment report. You should review it carefully - preferably with the support of Charles Stanley Financial Solutions (CSFS) or another regulated adviser - and decide on the details of your pension arrangements. You will need to make detailed plans for introducing the pension scheme into your organisation, making decisions on:
- Whether or not you wish to postpone auto enrolment
- Pension contribution levels
- The basis on which you wish to calculate contribution amounts
- Your employee communication strategy
2 months before staging: communicate the details of the new pension arrangements to your employees.
At the first payroll date after staging you:
- Load updated payroll and pension contribution information into the employer portal to generate a compliance report which will give you updated details of who is eligible, non-eligible and entitled as well as pension contribution levels by employee
- Run your payroll, after updating it with the pension information coming from your compliance report
- Run your real time information (RTI) report and submit it to HMRC as usual
- Send an updated contribution schedule form to HS Admin if you have changed your contribution levels since submitting your original application form
- The compliance software will produce a schedule detailing payment due. Pay this by BACS to HS Admin, who will also have a copy of the schedule.
The compliance software will automatically generate welcome emails for you to send to your employees, meeting your statutory requirements.
At each subsequent payroll date after staging you:
- Load updated payroll information into the employer portal to generate a compliance report which will give you updated details of who is eligible, non-eligible and entitled as well as pension contribution levels by employee
- Run your payroll, after updating it with the information coming from your compliance report
- Run your RTI report and submit it to HMRC as usual
- Make the scheduled payment to HS Admin.