Q&A videos aim to help SMEs with 2016 staging dates
LONDON (26 August 2015) - Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aonplc (NYSE:AON), has worked with The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to produce a series of videos designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) understand their auto-enrolment obligations.
The videos are aimed at answering the questions that smaller organisations have ahead of their auto-enrolment staging dates. In particular, they are currently directed at the around 500,000 small businesses that will need to auto-enrol their employees during 2016. These employers are advised to start preparing at least nine months in advance of their staging dates to secure full compliance.
Clare Abrahams, Head of Auto-enrolment at Aon Employee Benefits, said:
“With only four months to go until the end of the year, it is essential that employers who are approaching their staging date in 2016 make sure that they start planning now if they have not already done so. The planning and implementation process required prior to employers reaching their auto-enrolment staging dates can take several months and employers need to be aware of the timeline and to plan ahead in order to be compliant and to avoid possible fines from the Regulator. They also need to ensure they have access to the right solutions and this could mean taking action now in order to guarantee their spot, despite being sometime away from their staging dates.
“We originally created these advice videos with the Regulator for Denplan, the UK’s leading dental plan specialist which recently appointed Aon Employee Benefits as its preferred supplier for an auto-enrolment solution, Aon’s Littleblue 2go. Denplan has over 6,500 member dentists, of which the large majority are small employers. Our aim was to make it as easy as possible for these employers to access answers to the key auto-enrolment questions that are likely to impact them directly.”
Denplan’s members are often not straightforward workforces, so one of the issues they are likely to face is that, it is not always clear who should be classed as actually working for the employer. For example, it is not unusual for dental hygienists to work one day a week at one practice and for one employer, and then another day of the same week for another. So which is their employer for the purposes of auto-enrolment?
Similarly, where do the other dental practitioners sit in this respect and would it be right in some cases to assume that they are self-employed?
Clare Abrahams continued: “We know how daunting going through this process can be and how complex some of these issues can become. Therefore we wanted to create short and helpful videos that tackle the main issues and concerns and get employers thinking about taking action now in order to address any issues before their staging date creeps up on them.”
“We were very pleased that TPR was able to help us in this aim and that the videos can now be of help to a wider audience.”
The videos highlight the actions that employers need to take to give them the best chances to comply on time, and give guidance on key issues, including:
- Who is (and is not) classed as a worker
- Which types of employers might be excluded from having auto-enrolment duties
- Which types of individuals can be excluded from an employer’s duties
- How to confirm whether any existing pension arrangements are compliant
- What happens if employers fail to comply with their duties
Ken Tymms, Industry Liaison Manager, Automatic Enrolment, The Pensions Regulator, who appears in the videos, said:
“Around 1.8 million employers will need to meet their workplace pensions duties over the next three years and our research suggests that two-thirds of them have not yet identified their staging date. We strongly recommend that employers plan early to meet their automatic enrolment (AE) duties.
“TPR offers support to providers of AE products and services, such as pension and payroll software providers, accountants/bookkeepers, payroll bureaux and financial advisors to help them to support their clients. We can clarify technical issues, supply content for information campaigns and support speaking events.”
The videos are available here: http://www.aon.com/unitedkingdom/employee-benefits/pensions/tpr-videos.jsp