Posted on: 22 December 2015
As a business owner and employer, under new legislation you are obliged to provide an auto enrolment workplace pension for your employees.
We’ve produced a project plan example which you can tailor to your business (details on how to do this are shown below). This will help you estimate how long it could take to comply with the auto enrolment regulations.*
How to use the project plan
The project plan example is based on the following assumptions:
- the business employs less than 50 people
- the business owner will manage most of the auto enrolment process under the guidance and advice of a suitable financial adviser
- the business owner will only be able to work on one auto enrolment activity at a time as they will have to fit it around their other day-to-day duties
- there may be delays due to the business owner being called to deal with unexpected business-critical events
If these assumptions apply to you and your business, follow these simple steps:
- Go through each of the 15 activities (read the ‘What is this?’ column for additional information) and assess whether and how you might complete them
- Then consider how long each activity could take to complete, in straight hours or days, and then be realistic about your ability to fit these in around your working week. Take into account waiting time while your financial adviser, pension provider or software provider responds to enquiries, as well as delays caused by unexpected events elsewhere in the business
- Insert the number of weeks you think it could take you to complete each activity under the ‘Plan duration’ column. The ‘Plan start’ figure will update automatically.
- Use the chart to see how long in total it could take for you to comply with the regulations.
- Then read on to see what delays may extend your timeframe.
Be ready for delays
We all know that businesses don’t always run like clockwork – project delays, staff illness and a plethora of other unforeseen events can get in the way of your intended to do list. You’ll need to factor into your project plans how you will fit setting up auto enrolment around running your business.
You should take into account the fact that some pension providers only allow a certain number of staff or staff members that earn over a certain amount and payment software providers may not be designed to carry out all of the auto enrolment tasks that you need meaning you may need to find another provider or update your software.  This means that setting up your pension scheme and linking it with your payment software could take months rather than the weeks suggested in our plan.
Before you know it, your project plan may need to cater for 6 to 12 months of delays. If this means you might miss your staging date, your small business could be at risk.
The bottom line is this: Plan sufficiently to take account of the auto enrolment process including your dependencies on third parties.
*Note that this project plan is designed to give you an idea of how long auto enrolment might take. It does not provide a basis for implementing auto enrolment itself.
 http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/checking-records-and-payroll-processes.aspx https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/business-advisers/automatic-enrolment-guide-for-business-advisers/5-checking-records-and-payroll-processes
The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.