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Government extends pensions deadline for small businesses

BY Greg Fletcher
Employment Law & HR
BG Purple

The Government has announced a welcome relief for small businesses over the implementation of the pensions “auto-enrolment” scheme due to come into effect next year.

The changes to pensions legislation will require employers to automatically enrol eligible jobholders into a pension scheme. The new duties will apply to all employers and were due to be formally implemented over a four year period commencing on 1 October 2012.  

However, the latest announcement from the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, extends the start date for compliance by small businesses by a year, to May 2015 instead of April 2014. This change will apply to businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The start dates for larger employers (with 50 or more employees) will remain as previously advised by the Government.
These are:

  • Employers with 120,000 or more staff to comply from 1st October 2012;
  • Employers with 500+ staff to comply from 1st November 2013;
  • Employers with 150 to 499 employees to comply during the first quarter of 2014;
  • Employers with 90 to 149 staff to comply from 1st May 2014.

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