In the dark over auto enrolment

Awareness: Paul Jackson
Awareness: Paul Jackson

More than eighteen months since its launch, almost a quarter of businesses in Lancashire have failed to grasp the concept of auto enrolment.

That’s according to the results of a recent survey commissioned by Preston based financial advisory firm, Taylor Patterson.

Furthermore, only a third of businesses have turned to a regulatory body for guidance, demonstrating the lack of impact the government’s advertising campaigns have had.

Auto enrolment has been phased in since October 2012 and is designed to combat the challenges of individuals living longer and therefore needing greater financial resource in retirement.

Any business that employs staff, regardless of size, will be affected by auto enrolment as they will be required to provide a qualifying workplace pension for their people. The key to making the process run smoothly is to plan early.

Paul Jackson, employee benefits manager at Taylor Patterson said: “The survey has highlighted a startling statistic that a quarter of businesses in Lancashire, that’s over 10,000 employers, aren’t even aware of auto enrolment. In addition, 62 per cent of respondents said they knew about auto enrolment but felt they needed more information, while only 14 per cent felt confident in their knowledge of the process.

“With auto enrolment gathering momentum, and small and medium sized businesses now receiving their staging dates, these are worrying signs that many businesses are failing to grasp the importance of preparing for, introducing and administering, a workplace pension scheme.”

The survey also highlights the need for more education to encourage businesses to make the steps in their auto enrolment journey.