17 October 2014 by Crystal HR & Payroll Ltd
The law on workplace pensions has changed. All employers are legally required to automatically enrol certain staff into a pension scheme and make contributions. Find out how this affects you at www.tpr.gov.uk
All of the UK’s biggest employers and many larger sized medium employers have now passed their deadlines for automatic enrolment. By this summer, well over four million workers had begun saving more, or for the first time because of the changes.
Now it’s the turn of smaller employers to put their plans in place. Over the next 12 months, more than 10,000 small employers will need to act so they meet their new workplace pension duties.
Employers should start by checking when their staging date is – that is the date they need to be ready to meet their duties. It is set in law. They can do this by visiting The Pensions Regulator’s website, which provides information and tools, including an essential guide to familiarise themselves with what their next steps are.
How long will it take?
Employers are warned not to get caught in a last minute rush to comply with the changes in workplace pension law, and they should allow plenty of time to prepare to meet their duties. Every employer will receive a letter from the regulator 12 months prior to their staging date, so this is a good time to start preparing. Employers should note that even if they have an existing pension scheme in place they will need to take action, which can include writing to and automatically enrolling their staff.
Where can I find out more?
The regulator has a wealth of information and guidance, including a free planning tool, available on its website. Employers can also sign up for an e-newsletter, News By Email, to receive up to date news or information that will help them get ready.
To find out more visit www.tpr.gov.uk
Universal Credit update
Which areas is Universal Credit available in?
Universal Credit brings together a range of working-age benefits into a single payment for those in work and out of work. It is now available to single and couple claimants in over 50 Jobcentres in England, Wales and Scotland, and will be available in nearly 100 Jobcentres by the end of this year, providing people with stronger incentives and support to get into work and earn more money.
Universal Credit will expand to families in the autumn, and from early next year will be rolled out across the country to all Jobcentres and Local Authorities.
How does PAYE in real time (RTI) affect Universal Credit?
PAYE in real time (RTI) is working for many Universal Credit claimants and is also reducing error across DWP. Timely and accurate reporting of RTI is crucial for Universal Credit payments as is accurate recording of data when new staff are taken on.
Universal Credit claim dates are personal to claimants. So payments you make today, could be used in a Universal Credit assessment today. It is therefore important to submit timely and correct information.
How can employers contribute to in work progression trials?
DWP are working with employers and employer organisations to understand the most effective methods to support employees on a low income increase their working hours and earnings.
In addition to other ongoing trials, DWP and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) are running a competition for employers to set up trials in the hospitality and retail sectors. £2 million of funding is being made available. Applications are welcome from 10 October to 28 November 2014. Details of how to apply are on the UKCES Futures site on GOV.UK.
All of these trials will help to determine the best way of achieving the right support for employees before being introduced nationally.
For all the latest information on Universal Credit visit the partner toolkit on GOV.UK.