Dobson Hodge No Comments

The risk of last minute ‘Auto-Enrolment’ shopping!

Many of us will have left the Christmas shopping a little too late – perhaps resulting in a quick dash to the shops or supermarket which results in us sitting gridlocked in a car park, stressed in the aisles, not having the choice we want and pulling our hair out at the checkout before getting in to the ‘after sales’ gridlock of that car park again.

Just like we all know when Christmas Day falls, we can also check when a firm will need to have satisfied its obligations with regard to Auto-Enrolment (AE). Just like Christmas, AE will take time to plan which is why The Pension Regulator (TPR) initially issues a ‘wake up’ letter to businesses 12 months before a firm has to have everything in place.

All companies can easily establish the date they need to have satisfied their obligations – something determined by either their size (if over 30 employees in April 2012) or their payroll reference number (if smaller).

For companies falling into the latter category, they will need to have everything in place at some point between June 2015 and April 2017 and whilst these dates creep ever nearer, the number of employers needing to tackle this begins to increase significantly

If you don’t already know, get your AE shopping list ready – your payroll reference number(s) in other words – and visit TPR’s calculator at

In tax year 2014/15 there were approximately 32,000 employers required to meet the new legislation and this number rises to just over 150,000 in 2015/16 before the risk of ‘queues at the checkouts’ gets much worse with over 610,000 firms in 2016/17 and a further 530,000 in 2017/18.

We are already hearing about ‘capacity issues’ with some providers and the expectation is that those seeking advice from firms such as ours may also find themselves at the back of an ever lengthening queue as reality takes hold and the last minute panic buying takes hold.

But fear not; to beat the rush and to shop with leisure, companies may well wish to begin to plan ahead and do much of the hard work now and then sit back and watch as others live to regret not heeding our words of warning….