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 One in four firms unprepared for AE

A study by NOW: Pensions has found one in four small businesses have yet to address auto-enrolment legislation, despite thousands of firms being drawn into the scheme. The rules mean companies with fewer than 30 employees must take steps to ensure that people are saving for their retirement. About 1.2m employers must comply with the legislation by 2018. More than 500,000 have only until the end of next year, and firms that fail to do so could face escalating fines of up to £500 a day. The Pensions Regulator has recommended that employers allow up to 12 months for auto-enrolment, but the research from NOW: Pensions found that 350,000 companies were completely unprepared. In total, it claimed, Britain"s small businesses could be "facing a bill of up to £173m a day if they don"t sort out auto-enrolment on time" report Harris & Co chartered accountants Northampton.

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