Seek advice on pensions issue

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On 15 September, the UK saw its third annual Pension Awareness Day. Each year the pensions awareness campaign bus travels around the UK providing free pensions guidance from a team of advisors.

The aim is to speak to communities about whether they are saving enough money for retirement. It’s also to unite the financial services industry, businesses, employers and the government to share innovative ideas and work together to drive engagement around saving for retirement.

Pensions can be hard to understand as an employee, but even harder to get your head around as an employer.

All UK employers are required to enrol certain staff into a workplace pension scheme and make regular contributions under the auto enrolment legislation.

For small business owners, the ‘staging date’ may still be yet to come. But for most of the nation, auto enrolment is now up and running.

Figures published by The Pensions Regulator have confirmed that 200,000 employers in the UK have now complied with their new workplace pension duties.

Auto enrolment is a hot topic with many local accountants and so if you are looking for assistance I am sure some of the accountants in the area will happily discuss your options and advise on rollout strategy.

Xero has been working closely with the government and its ‘Digital Strategy’. Part of that strategy involves the move to make tax digital by taking tax returns online, and introducing quarterly reports rather than the traditional end of year dump.

The idea being that the online portal will effectively serve like an online bank account – allowing people to register for new services, update information and understand what needs to be paid, without having to fill out a tax return again.

It’s clear that more of our lives are moving online, and as such, everyone has access to data in real time.

So if you’re a business owner concerned with the intricacies of enrolling your employees in a pension scheme, or simply an employee keen to take control, the solution is to seek advice sooner rather than later, and avoid any unexpected shocks.