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Smallest companies get until 2017 to introduce pension auto-enrolment

The smallest companies will now have until 2017 to introduce pension auto-enrolment, as the Government announces a further extension of the implementation timetable to help ease the financial burden.

As planned, pension auto-enrolment comes into effect for the largest organisations in October 2012, taking an estimated 10 million people into pension saving, many for the first time, according to Pensions Minister Steve Webb. However, the timetable for smaller companies has now been pushed back to between April 2014 and April 2015 for those with 50-249 staff, between August and October 2015 for those with 30-49 staff, and between January 2016 and April 2017 for those with fewer than 30 staff. Newly established firms must have their staff enrolled by February 2018.

The aim of the extension is to help smaller companies absorb the administrative and contribution costs of automatic enrolment against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. Automatic enrolment will apply to workers who are at least 22 years old and below the state pension age and earning in excess of £7,475 a year.

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 area for more information.

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