Melissa Goddard, Director of Pensions Solutions at Ceridian, takes us through her top three tips for employers yet to stage for auto-enrolment.

Plan early – a minimum of 12 months ahead

Those employers who have yet to stage need to begin planning and budgeting at least 12 months ahead of their staging date. If organisations want to secure their first choice of suppliers and external resources, they ideally need to allow closer to eighteen months, especially as we move into the higher numbers of employers all needing support at the same time.

Employers should not underestimate the amount of time required to validate existing and new operating processes and procedures to ensure auto-enrolment compliance.

The later staging of SMEs, many of whom have not yet properly planned for auto-enrolment, is already placing huge strain on providers. We would encourage early engagement with providers to secure the right resources at the right time.

Make payroll central to ensure auto-enrolment compliance

Our experience is that where customers have chosen our award-winning auto-enrolment solution that is integrated with our payroll solution, integration, complexity and timing challenges are significantly reduced. We have had a number of customers come back to us for help after choosing a solution where assessment is not done in payroll as, after detailed analysis, they realised it would not work to be compliant.

Communicate early and clearly to engage employees

The most successful customers who have staged are those who placed major emphasis on employee engagement with clear, simple communication.

The volume of calls has been lower than anticipated, and we have even seen employees choosing to opt-in early, even ahead of a staging date. Successful employers are using the change in legislation as a means of engaging with their employees and helping them understand the wider benefits of saving for their future.

Melissa Goddard

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