Workplace Pension Reforms: When is my staging date?
When considering the impact of the workplace pension reforms a lot of employers ask me when their staging date will be.
As a reminder the staging date is the date from which an employer will have to establish a pension arrangement with a minimum level of contributions and automatically enrol qualifying employees into this pension arrangement.
For many employers their staging date may not be until 2015 or 2016. However, employers need to be aware of the elements of the workplace reforms which came into force on 1 July 2012 irrespective of their staging date. These elements affect all employers and relate to the safeguards intended to protect individuals, which means that there are certain things that an employer must not do.
The key points that apply from 1 July 2012 are as follows:
– An employer cannot take, or fail to take, any action that results in a jobholder ceasing to be a member of a qualifying pension scheme or make changes so that the scheme becomes non-qualifying.
– Any jobholder (or entitled worker) who leaves a scheme without joining a new scheme should make the decision freely without influence from the employer.
– An employer must not screen out potential new employees on the basis of potential pension scheme membership.
It is important to understand the regulations around these points such that you do not breach the new regulations as this could ultimately lead to a fine from the regulator.
Moore and Smalley’s Financial Planning Team currently act as advisors for a wide range of privately owned and listed Companies and offer specialist independent pension advice, bespoke to the needs of each client. If you require any assistance in this area please get in touch on 01772 821021.