Only 15% prepared for auto-enrolment

Only 15% of respondents that have to comply with auto-enrolment legislation in the next 12 months felt they are sufficiently qualified to manage their responsibilities, according to research by Creative Auto Enrolment.

Cebr research: Auto-enrolment could cost employers £15.4bn

Its research, which surveyed 505 business decision makers in organisations with between 50 and 250 employees, found that 40% of respondents admitted to being in the dark about all the tasks involved in complying with auto-enrolment legislation.

Two-thirds (66%) said that choosing a pension provider and a plan for employees’ savings is one of their most worrying tasks.

The research also found that 36% of respondents cited an overall lack of understanding as the biggest barrier to auto-enrolment compliance, while 30% cited lack of resources and 25% cited time.

More than half (52%) of respondents estimated that preparing for their staging date has taken, or will take, more than 10 weeks in terms of the total hours involved.

One in six (15%) do not know when their organisation’s staging date is.

David White (pictured), managing director of Creative Auto Enrolment, said: “It’s now 18 months since the first employers staged, but it’s clear from these findings that lessons are not being learned.

“Unfortunately, it’s not a surprise. We are getting calls on a regular basis from organisations that are completely unprepared for their staging dates, or have even missed them.

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Auto-enrolment is one of the biggest legislative changes that employers have had to deal with for years, and a massive burden for business owners, yet the government has just not provided adequate support.

“Employers yet to stage need to ensure that auto-enrolment is firmly on their radar screens to avoid the hefty fines associated with non-compliance.”