I was delighted to be asked by the Search team to address their clients on some of the operational challenges facing organisations with the complex and sometimes daunting task of preparing for the new employer obligations under Pensions Auto-Enrolment.

I'm the Managing Director of Seminars & Solutions; a specialist consultancy that provides business solutions to employment law challenges specifically for leaders and line managers. I've been working with some of the UK's largest employers helping them to positively and cost effectively prepare for auto-enrolment, so I was delighted to pull back the curtains and share some of the solutions we designed for the UK's largest employers with Search's delegates.

The first, and most important question I asked was "did everybody understand and know when their staging date was?" This is the date that each individual employer will be legally obliged to auto-enrol those eligible into a qualifying pension scheme, make employers contributions, collect contributions from employees and forward those contributions on to the relevant pensions provider. Fortunately all the attendees knew their dates! It has been great to see so many people looking for pre-emptive ways to head off issues and legal challenges well before staging.

There was a lot to cover so we focused on some on the main high touch areas both in terms of requirement and risk namely:

Identifying workers who will qualify for auto-enrolment

  • How to effectively communicate auto-enrolment within an organisation
  • Identifying pension schemes that meet the qualifying criteria for auto-enrolment
  • Budgeting for the increased costs
  • Delivering ethical options to allow employees to save for their future
  • Exploring the potential benefits of using 'postponement'
  • Where potential claims and disputes could arise

The seminars were rounded off with fantastic Q&A's and it was great to hear such a buzz and appetite for more auto-enrolment learning and development. If you are a HR professional, Director, Finance or Payroll specialist I would be delighted to share my knowledge and experience with you as this Preparing for Auto-Enrolment Seminar series continues in 2013.

I look forward to speaking at a Seminar near you soon!

Fiona McKay, Managing Director