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35% of small business owners don’t know about the pension auto-enrolment scheme even with pending deadline approaching

BY Rachel | 18 September, 2017 | no comments

The pension auto-enrolment scheme is a new mandatory policy by the Government to ensure that all UK businesses contribute to their employee’s pensions, however it seems that a lot of small businesses still don’t know about the scheme even with the pending deadline to sign up imminent.

A recent survey commissioned by local services marketplace Bidvine found that a staggering 35% of small business owners did not know what the auto-enrolment scheme was, with a further 43% stating that the new legislation and extra expense would affect the hiring of new staff in the future.

This new legislation is mandatory for all businesses in the UK and forces them to pay into to their employee’s pensions, with the deadline to sign up by February 1st 2018. All employees in the UK will be enrolled in the scheme automatically unless they choose to opt out. Failure to sign up to the scheme could result in large fines and even imprisonment for business owners.

The survey asked a wide range of small business owners ‘has your business already complied with pension auto-enrolment?’ Over a third (35%) admitted that they did not know was auto-enrolment was, with 33% saying they had not signed up to the scheme yet. also asked participants if they thought that there has been enough information for small business owners about the auto-enrolment scheme. A staggering 65% answered no.

Two thirds of small business owners said that they did not know when the deadline for auto-enrolment was as well. co-founder Russ Morgan talked about the findings, saying:

“We wanted to get insight into what small businesses think about auto-enrolment seeing as it’s going to affect every employer in the UK. We were astonished to discover that many didn’t even know what it is! It might seem like a way off yet, but as you will see in the guide we’ve created with the auto-enrolment bureau, business owners should start the process 6 months in advance in order to be compliant.

“We were pleased to see that most business owners agree that auto-enrolment is a good idea, however it is slightly worrying that 43% said the extra cost will affect hiring new employees – something the government may have to consider in the future as it may affect employment.”