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Smaller firms to get more time to comply with new pension auto-enrolment

Small firms with fewer than 50 employees will now be given extra time to prepare before auto-enrolling staff in pension funds, but an earlier introduction of pension schemes for all workers could help employers recruit and retain new talent.

Starting in October 2012, employers will be required by law to automatically enrol all employees over the age of 22 and earning in excess of the minimum earnings threshold in a pension scheme, and pension contributions will be made by both employers and staff. Larger firms will be the first to have to implement the new system, but the revised timetable now gives smaller firms until May 2015 to comply with the legislation, saving them an estimated £250 million.

This doesn't mean, however, that smaller firms can't revise their pension provisions sooner and start offering pensions to all employees. Providing a pension plan for all employees demonstrates a clear commitment to staff and can help employers attract crucial new talent at a time when it's most needed.

Fundamental changes to pension provision can be challenging for employers to implement and address with their staff. Acas offers training to help employers with having difficult conversations and provides support to ensure full compliance with new legislation.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions page for more information.

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