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Richard Mathews of Banks charted accountants

Employers urged to get ready for sweeping pensions changes

One of the biggest changes to pensions in decades affecting all employers is sweeping across the UK, and Swindon accountants are urging bosses to prepare sooner rather than later, to avoid potential disruption to their businesses.

Auto enrolment requires employers to automatically enrol qualifying staff into a workplace pension. The stages at which companies have to join depends on their size, and the rules are about to engulf small to medium sized businesses.

Banks BHG accountants are urging employers to prepare now, to avoid potential chaos by leaving it until the last minute, and are running free seminars to help employers understand the process.

“Auto enrolment has been described as the most radical change to workplace entitlements since the introduction of the National Minimum Wage,” said Banks BHG director Richard Mathews.

“So far, it has affected only larger employers, but the dates for SMEs to join are coming around fast. Currently, the Pensions Regulator is registering around 10,000 schemes per quarter. When the SMEs come on board this will shoot up to around 200,000 schemes per quarter.

“We’d strongly urge employers to get ready well in advance of their staging date. There’s no avoiding auto enrolment, but being prepared will be an advantage. Employers may even want to consider registering their schemes ahead of time, before the system is engulfed by a tsunami of SMEs joining at the same time.”

The auto enrolment process started in October 2012, with all existing firms needing to enrol staff by April 2017, followed by all new employers by February 2018.

To help businesses learn more about the new system, Banks BHG is running free seminars, at the firm’s Stratton offices. The first is on October 1.

The seminars will give an overview of the reforms, as well as information and advice to help employers to prepare for the new regulations. Each will comprise a presentation, chance for questions and answers and a light buffet afterwards. They start 5.45pm to 6pm. Dates for the subsequent seminars are November 19, February 4 and May 13.

Richard said: “We’re putting on several of these seminars because we know the demand will be so high, because of the sheer volume of firms affected. We’d urge people to book on sooner, rather than later.”

For more information about auto enrolment and to book online visit, or email