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We have already discussed what type of pension plan can be used, which employees it affects and how much the employer and employee must pay, so this article deals with the employer’s duties relating to setting up a scheme, or schemes, that will ensure that their obligations are met.
The list of tasks that make up the employer’s duties is lengthy and is better broken down into several parts. Additionally, a number of the items on it merit further explanation. These will be provided in subsequent articles.
Designing your scheme
You will need to consider:
Registering your pension scheme
Once you have decided who your pension provider is to be and have received your scheme details, you will need to register this with The Pensions Regulator. You will normally receive help with this from your pension provider.
Assessing your workforce
It is essential that you identify who falls into the categories identified in our article of 15 January 2014. These categories are:
This assessment is subject to the overriding considerations of what to do with workers who may already be in a pension scheme run by you.
You will need to consider what contribution rates you will pay for each of these categories and decide what definition of earnings you will apply. Remember that if you choose not to follow the statutory definitions of qualifying earnings for any of the categories, you will need to certify the contributions basis you will use.
You may postpone auto enrolment for up to three months to assist the burden of commencing the scheme, but also to allow for seasonal changes such as if you employ temporary workers. However, this option can only be used in limited circumstances:
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