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Pensions
Pensions

Pensions

Saturday, 17 March 2012 11:04

Pensions are an employee’s best friend

Written by Jonathan Lord
Research by the EEF manufacturers' organisation among more than 250 companies found they were "highly committed" to pensions and were in favour of mandatory contributions from employers and workers. Director of policy Steve Radley said: "Manufacturers remain committed to providing high quality pensions. Despite the challenging economic and regulatory environment, significant numbers of companies still offer final salary schemes and almost all companies have either maintained or increased contribution rates to defined contribution schemes. "But, companies are telling us that the risks and regulation associated with pensions are rising and they have no capacity to take on extra responsibilities. The Government has a key role in helping employers to maintain their commitment to pensions. "Starting from the Budget, it must take progressive steps to make employers' pensions responsibilities simpler and clearer. At the same time, it must resist the growing pressure from Brussels to increase regulation." Most firms said they had maintained their maximum payments to defined contribution schemes, with one in 10 planning increases.
A revised timetable for when employers of all sizes must start enrolling their staff in a workplace pension is set out by the Government today. Large employers, those with 250 or more employees, will not face any change in the date they are due to start enrolling their staff.  This follows the announcement in November that small businesses would be given more time to prepare for automatic enrolment to help them out in exceptionally tough economic times. The timetable for employers to begin enrolling their staff starts with the largest firms first, followed by medium, then small companies. Automatic enrolment will begin in October 2012. All existing firms will have enrolled their staff by April 2017, followed by all new employers by February 2018. This new timeline means that 70% of individuals will be automatically enrolled before the next general election. The level of pension contributions will be phased in over time to help employers and individuals adjust. Full contributions will have to be paid from 1 October 2018. The DWP have stated a consultation and draft regulations with more detailed information will be published shortly. The new timetable is as follows: Employer size (by PAYE scheme size) or other description Auto-enrolment duty date From To 250 or more members 1 Oct 2012 1 Feb 2014 50 to 249 members 1 Apr 2014 1 Apr 2015 Test tranche for less than 30 members 1 Jun 2015 30 Jun 2015 30 to 49 members 1 Aug 2015 1 Oct 2015 Less than 30 members 1 Jan…

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