Auto-Enrolment changes: what obligations will small businesses face from October 1st?

Is your small business ready to fully comply with its obligations under Auto-Enrolment? Are you actually aware of what these obligations are, and what they will mean for SMEs? Well, if you’re unsure about the changes on October 1st, then here’s a brief explanation about exactly what’s going to happen later this year.

Auto-Enrolment: what it means for small businesses

As a small business you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, here’s why you should be taking note. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has already issued 5,794 fixed penalty notices of £400 to employers for failing to meet their Auto-Enrolment duties in the period April to June 2017 – an increase from 4,673 in the previous quarter and the largest total issued to date. What’s more, a total of 1,384 escalating penalty notices (EPNs) were also issued in the quarter – up from 1,043 in the first three months of 2017: this was also the highest quarterly EPN total.

So what will happen on October 1st, and what does your small business need to do in preparation for Auto-Enrolment?

Under the Pensions Act 2008, all UK employers under Auto-Enrolment must put certain staff into a workplace pension and contribute to it themselves too. Although reports had suggested that because of the uncertainty about the implications of Auto-Enrolment, the uptake might not be as good as predicted; record numbers of employers signed up for Auto-Enrolment last month

From October 1st workers aged over 22 and under the state pension age, earning more than £10,000 per year or £833 per month (£192 per week) must be enrolled in a workplace pension, if they are not already part of a qualifying workplace pension scheme. So, whatever line of work you’re in – butcher, baker, candlestick maker: if your small business employs just one person, then you will be classed as an employer, and from October this year you’ll have duties and responsibilities under the new pension laws. Moreover, small businesses employing the workers for the first time will also need to comply with Auto-Enrolment as soon as they recruit a member of staff. Previously, employers have had more time to prepare for their auto-enrolment duties and staging date, in some cases years.

If you are worried about Auto-Enrolment or would like to know the full extent of the responsibilities you will face as an employer from this date, then visit the Pensions Regulator’s website: (  or speak to Stockport-based accountants, Steven Glicher. If your small business has any other concerns relating to tax planning, business structures, book keeping, business planning and growth, raising finance or VAT registration, then call Steven Glicher accountants on 0161 485 8007 or email

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