More SMEs are prepared for auto-enrolment

More than a quarter (27%) of medium employers have drawn up pensions auto-enrolment plans and started to act on them, compared to 13% in autumn 2012, according to research by The Pensions Regulator.

Its Employers’ awareness, understanding and activity relating to auto-enrolment research, which questioned 639 employers that are due to stage from November 2013 onwards, also found that 80% of medium employers believed auto-enrolment is a good idea for employees, compared to 64% in spring 2012.

The research also found:

  • Awareness was lower among micro employers (61%) than large employers (99%).
  • 49% of large and 43% of medium employers felt the process would take four months or longer than in autumn 2012 (49% and 43%, respectively).
  • 84% of medium employers and 30% of micro employers have started their preparations, compared to 73% of medium and 18% of micro employers in autumn 2012.
  • 41% of small employers said they would leave it as late as possible before thinking about how to comply with the introduction of auto-enrolment, which is nearly consistent with 40% in autumn 2012.
  • 99% of large employers were confident that they would have done everything needed by their staging date.
  • 57% of small employers, which are not due to stage until after June 2015, are very confident about meeting their staging date.
  • 74% of micro employers are confident they would be ready for their staging date. 

Charles Counsell (pictured), executive director of automatic enrolment at The Pensions Regulator, said: “The response of the largest employers to automatic enrolment has been positive and, at the start of August, more than 1,600 employers had returned their compliance declaration to us by registering their information.

“But the vast majority of employers are yet to go through automatic enrolment, with tens of thousands of medium-sized organisations due to stage in 2014.

“Our call to action to employers to know [their] staging date and make a plan is more relevant than ever.”