Call for Hampshire employers to prepare for pensions

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage hosted an Enterprise event at St Vincents College      
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OVER the next four years, 1.6 million mainly small and medium-sized firms representing more than nine million employees will by law need to set up pension schemes.

Many will reach their staging date to enrol staff into a pension scheme from this month, as the government’s auto-enrolment implementation gathers pace.

But businesses in Hampshire should ensure their qualifying scheme is set up well in advance or they could face daily fines of up to £2,500, Lighthouse Group warns.

From April this year those businesses with 50 to 249 employees began the enrolment process, with staging dates up until April 2015

Next August, tens of thousands more firms with 30 to 49 employees will start paying in for the first time.

Malcolm Streatfield, chief executive officer of Lighthouse Group, said: ‘We are finding that businesses are leaving it too late to start the auto-enrolment process.

‘Many have simply not factored in the length of time it takes to gather the correct personal data of employees and get their payroll systems into shape.’