The Pensions Regulator estimates that 1.8 million small and micro employers will reach their staging date within the next two years. These employers include an estimated 200,000 HMRC Basic PAYE Tools (BPT) users.
To date, BPT users have not had access to software functionality that can help them carry out their auto enrolment duties. Assessing the workforce and calculating contributions manually could lead to errors, burden and non-compliance.
Although free and low cost software is available to support auto enrolment, a high volume of BPT users are unlikely to switch to commercial software as many are concerned that they will be persuaded to buy additional products and services. Whilst there is no legal obligation to have software in place, it is evident that it improves employer compliance.
Auto Enrolment Toolkit
The Pensions Regulator are working to release an auto enrolment toolkit by November 2015. As it is a government provided tool, some BPT users may assume that it is the most appropriate solution to use.
However, even though the tool will help BPT users with auto enrolment, it will not provide auto enrolment functionality. The toolkit is intended to be in the format of a downloadable excel spreadsheet that will:
● indicate who should be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme
● provide an employer/employee contribution value (where applicable)
Although the tool will assess the workforce and calculate contributions, the scope of the tool will be very limited. What it will not do:
● It will not support multiple pay frequencies.
● It will not support variable contribution levels.
● It will use a tax-based pay reference period only.
● It will assume that the legal minimum entitlement is being used.
● It will calculate contributions based on banded qualifying earnings only.
● It will only support up to 15 workers.
● It will only support entitled workers if they are placed in an auto enrolment scheme on the same basis as other employees.
● It will not have postponement functionality.
● It will not have the ability to support re-enrolment.
You can find a full breakdown of the limitations here.
The auto enrolment toolkit will reduce the risk of both initial and ongoing non-compliance among BPT users. However, will it actually make the auto enrolment process easier?
The Pensions Regulator encourages employers to use an integrated payroll and auto enrolment solution that will simplify and streamline auto enrolment. An integrated system, such as BrightPay, will allow you to save time and reduce workload.
There is now a 50% discount for new customers who purchase a BrightPay 2015/16 standard licence when you switch from HMRC Basic PAYE Tools. A standard licence (normally £89 + VAT per tax year) includes unlimited employees, auto enrolment functionality and free support. Now you can get this for just £44.50 + VAT per tax year.
BrightPay also has a free licence for micro employers with up to three employees, including support and auto enrolment functionality.
You can now book a demo to see how BrightPay handles auto enrolment. The one-on-one online demo is done through an online screen sharing site and lasts approx. 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can download a 60 day free trial to try it out for yourself.
* Offer applies to new customers who switch to BrightPay from HMRC Basic tools or another payroll software provider for the first year subscription only. This offer applies to BrightPay 2015/16 employer licences only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
Written by Rachel Hynes for BrightPay Payroll and Auto Enrolment Software