Small businesses "in confusion" over new pension law

Two thirds of small businesses have no idea when they need to comply with crucial new pension rules.

This is according to a new report from accountants HW Fisher & Company, which suggests that small firms are crippled by “confusion and inertia” when it comes to auto-enrolment – a major new change in pension law.

Under auto-enrolment most employees will be entitled to be automatically enrolled in a workplace pension scheme, and both employer and employee will be required to make contributions.

But according to the survey, almost half of small businesses surveyed said they understand little or nothing about the changes they need to make.

Meanwhile more than three quarters of respondents have not yet begun making preparations for the change.

Sailesha Mehta, partner at HW Fisher, said: “So far auto-enrolment has only affected Britain’s larger firms, but for the army of small business owners it is just around the corner.

“So it’s worrying that so many of them are burying their heads in the sand – auto-enrolment is coming for everyone.

“From August firms with more than 60 PAYE employees will have to comply, and by this time next year thousands of firms with fewer than 30 staff will have to offer their employees a pension.”

Read more about the costs of auto-enrolment.