Will the withdrawal of government support measures impact businesses meeting their Auto-Enrolment duties?

08 July 2021

Certain measures implemented by the government to help individuals and businesses are gradually being withdrawn as some semblance of normality returns. One example of this is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CIPP’s Policy team wanted to assess if payroll providers could see this impacting their clients in terms of meeting their Auto-Enrolment (AE) duties, including in paying pension contributions.

A Quick Poll was posted on our News Online page, and the results are in!

“What impact do you expect the withdrawal of Covid-related government business support packages (e.g. the CJRS) to have on your clients in respect of continuing to meet their AE duties including paying pensions contributions?”

Low impact – 45%

Uneven impact across different clients – 25%

High impact – 18%

Medium impact – 12%

Encouragingly, the majority of respondents felt that there would only be a low impact on their clients. Understandably, as payroll providers can offer services to a wide range of businesses, who each may have been impacted in different ways by the pandemic, 25% stated that the impact would vary across their client base. 18% felt there would be a high impact, with the lowest response rate for medium impact, at 12%.

As a quick reminder, throughout the pandemic, the Pensions Regulator (TPR) have reminded advisers that although their clients’ businesses may have changed, their AE duties haven’t.

AE responsibilities include:

Maintaining contributions – employers have a legal responsibility to pay the correct contributions on time to their staff pension scheme

Re-enrolment – every three years, employers must put certain staff who have left the pension scheme back into it. Re-enrolment is a two-stage process, employers could risk a fine by not completing their re-declaration of compliance

Nominate a contact – at a time where staff changes may have taken place, it’s vital to keep TPR updated with the correct nominated contact information. If the business fails to receive TPR messages, there is a risk of being non-compliant with AE duties

For further information and guidance please visit TPR’s Covid-19 guidance page.