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  • Ireland will look to the UK for Auto Enrolment guidance. Jul 12, 2018

    In the UK, Workplace pension savers increased by 9 million with the introduction of auto enrolment. Ireland now plans to shadow the success that the UK has had and will introduce an auto enrolment pension system. Prime Minister for Ireland, Leo Varadkar, has set out a roadmap for pension reform in Ireland and hopes to have the same victories as the UK, ultimately helping Irish workers increase their savings for retirement.


    The Irish Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty has launched a consultation on the future of workplace pensions and provision for retirement. The aim of the consultation is to highlight the design of a new approach to the State contributory pension from 2020. At the end of the consultation, a detailed report will be compiled on all of the proposals and observations made by those who involved in the consultation.


    The new ‘Total Contribution Approach’ (TCA) will see a person’s contributory pension be proportionate to the contributions they make. The approach will be fair for periods of child-rearing, full-time caring and periods in receipt of social protection payments.


    “The Government will establish an automatic enrolment system to enable employees who do not currently set aside personal retirement savings to do so. There will be a separate consultation later this year on auto-enrolment, and I look forward to hearing from you on that issue in due course.” - Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty.



    Written By Cailín Reilly | BrightPay Payroll Software



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  • How TPR have used their powers in the last three months Jun 5, 2018

    Six pension schemes whose trustees were fined as they produced non-compliant documents that didn’t meet the standards required by law. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) announced their investigation into a number of pension schemes suspected of being linked to cold-calling. A number of pension holders had been contacted over the phone and were persuaded to transfer their retirement funds into poorly-run schemes as they were being offered cash incentives and promised high returns. Although many requested for their funds to be transferred into low-risk UK based investments, they were instead transferred into high-risk investments overseas.

    Mike Birch, TPR’s Director of Case Management, said:

    “Cold-calling pension holders isn’t illegal yet, but no reputable business does it. We would urge anyone to contact Action Fraud if they are phoned and offered the chance to transfer their pension”.

    TPR says that their message is simple:

    “A cold-call about your pension is an attempt to steal your savings”.

    Pension schemes that have produced non-compliant chair’s statements have been named for the first time by TPR. Nicola Parish, TPR’s Executive Director of Frontline Regulation said:

    “What some trustees put together as a chair’s statement is disappointing. These statements are important documents and should demonstrate to scheme members that the trustees are doing a good job and savers’ money is being well looked after”.

    TPR offer a guide for trustees about how to complete a chair’s statement to guide them through the process, so there is really no excuse. Workplace pension schemes that don’t meet the requirements will not only get a fine, but will now be named on TPR’s website too.


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    Written by Holly McHugh | BrightPay Payroll Software


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  • Auto Enrolment Penalty: Two years imprisonment and/ or an unlimited fine May 16, 2018

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is to prosecute a company, it’s directors and some senior members of staff on suspicion of illegally opting their employees out of theirworkplace pension scheme.

    The accused company has apparently logged in to their employees’ auto enrolment pension scheme portal, using their employee’s personal details and terminated their employee’s membership of their pension scheme. By doing this, the accused breached the terms of use, which clearly states, employees must opt out themselves if they wish to do so.

    The accused will now have to appear in court where a conviction for computer misuse can carry a maximum six months imprisonment and/ or an unlimited fine in a magistrates’ court, or two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine if committed to the Crown Court.

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    Written by Cailìn Reilly | BrightPay Payroll Software
  • Are you an employer who has to provide a pension? May 2, 2018

    If you’re an employer and have employed staff before the 1st October 2017 then you should have enrolled them into a pension scheme from their employment start date. Your staging date is the date that the auto enrolment law applies to you.

    If you’re employing staff for the first time from 1st October 2017 it’s important to understand what to do and when, so you can meet your automatic enrolment duties on time.Your legal duties begin on the day your first member of staff starts work.This is known as your duties start date. Even if you think you won’t need to put staff into a scheme, you’ll still have duties.

    After you choose your pension scheme and worked out which staff must be put in, you’ll need to pay your pension scheme every time you run your payroll. You need to monitor your staff’s circumstances incase their age or earnings have changed which may cause them to be an eligible employee where they would need to be enrolled.


    What you need to do and when

    Confirm who to contact
    Inform The Pensions Regulator who they should send letters and emails containing help and guidance to.
    You should do this straight away.


    Choose a pension scheme

    Ensure that you have a pension scheme that can be used for automatic enrolment.
    Start this now, as it could take some time.

    Work out who to put into a pension scheme
    Work out who you need to put into a pension scheme on your staging date.
    Do this on your staging date or duties start date.

    Write to your staff
    Write to each member of staff individually to tell them how automatic enrolment applies to them.
    Do this within 6 weeks of your staging date or duties start date.

    Declare your compliance
    Inform The Pensions Regulator how you’ve met your legal duties by completing your declaration of compliance.
    Do this within 5 months of your staging date.

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    Written by Holly McHugh | BrightPay Payroll Software
  • Payroll Data and GDPR: What you need to know Apr 25, 2018

    An Introduction
    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the latest regulation to rock the business world. Getting compliance right will be a cause for concern both for employers who manage and process their payroll in-house and those who outsource the payroll processing to a third party. The concept of GDPR will involve an update to the current regulation which will replace the Data Protection Act 1998. It will require businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within the EU. The new regulation will apply to every company including sole traders who process the personal data of individuals operating in the EU.


    The GDPR Deadline
    The GDPR deadline is the 25th May 2018 and will protect individuals data in an increasingly data-driven world. The 25th May is not a start date but rather a deadline for companies to prepare and become compliant by. Whilst the UK is set to leave the EU, the deadline for GDPR will come into effect before the UK exits the EU. It has been confirmed in the Queen’s Speech that post Brexit, GDPR and data protection rules will be incorporated into UK law. Therefore, every UK business that collects and manages data on citizens in the EU will need to comply with the new rules by the 25th May deadline.

    In this guide, we will specifically look at the impact of GDPR on your payroll processing and highlight the biggest areas of concern. We will walk you through some important steps to achieve GDPR compliance by examining the following topics

    • What does GDPR mean for your payroll processing?
    • How GDPR affects your payroll processing
    • GDPR preparation
    • Outsourcing your payroll
    • Proof of compliance
    • Protecting payroll data
    • Payslips & GDPR Compliance
    • Employee consent
    • Emailing payslips
    • Recommended self-service access
    • Breaching GDPR
    • Data breach plan of action
    • Non-compliance and penalties
    • How is BrightPay Preparing?
    • Enhanced security measures
    • BrightPay Connect - remote access self-service
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    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software

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  • What does GDPR mean for your payroll processing? Apr 18, 2018

    Businesses process large amounts of personal data, not least in relation to their customers, their customers’ employees and their own employees. Consequently, the GDPR will affect most if not all areas of the business and the impact cannot be overstated. All businesses make sure that their payroll data will be processed securely and responsibly under GDPR.

    Given technological advancements and recent cyber attacks, an updated security process is definitely required by businesses to protect the personal data that they manage. GDPR is not a new concept, it is simply a data protection process that is being upgraded to protect all individuals. GDPR will see an overhaul of the Data Protection Act and the way we currently process, manage and store individual data.

    Businesses are legally obliged to protect payroll information on behalf of your business and your employees where you must:
    • Only collect information you need for the specific purpose of completing the payroll.

    • Keep employee payroll information safe and secure.

    • Ensure employees data is relevant and up-to-date for the purpose of processing the payroll.

    • Only hold information you need and for as long as you need it to manage the payroll.

    • Allow your employees to view their personal information that is kept upon request.

    Download our GDPR guide where we will specifically look at the impact of GDPR on your payroll processing and highlight the biggest areas of concern. We will walk you through some important steps to achieve GDPR compliance.
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    Download here | Register for GDPR webinar


    Agenda
    • What is GDPR and why is it being implemented?
    • Why employers need to take it seriously
    • How it will impact payroll bureaus
    • How to prepare for GDPR
    • How we are working to help you
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    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software
  • Payroll Processing: Understanding GDPR & Data Management Apr 12, 2018

    Employers must provide employees and any job applicants with a privacy notice setting out certain details about how their information is managed. Employees will have greater rights to be informed about how long their information will be stored and how it will be used. Employees can request access to the personal information that is held on them where they can request to have it rectified and in some cases where there are no compelling reasons to retain the data they can request for it to be deleted. Employees now have the right to increased transparency to ensure their data is being managed correctly under the GDPR legislation.


    There is a lot of information to digest and understand around the topic of GDPR. To prepare, it would be beneficial to take advantage of the payroll software providers who are running free training sessions that are easily accessible online. Employers must fully understand the concept of GDPR and the impact it will have on both their business and their employees.

    There are three basic sets of rules relating to individual’s payroll and personal data:


    Data Management


    Payroll and personal data must be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Employee data must be collected for the legitimate purpose of completing the payroll. Your payroll data must be kept up-to-date and accurate and only be used for processing the payroll. Businesses must ensure that the employee payroll data is protected and adequately secured against loss, damage, unlawful access and cyber attacks.


    Data Processing

    Payroll bureaus or accountants may process the payroll on behalf of an employer. Processing data on behalf of payroll clients is lawful as long as there is a written contract between you and your accountant / payroll bureau. This contract represents a legal obligation for a payroll bureau, to process data in order to complete a client’s payroll and provide payslips as agreed each pay period. Payroll bureaus must only process data as per the written instruction of their client, hence it is of the utmost importance that a comprehensive contract is in place.


    Additionally, the GDPR legislation sets out further requirements regarding what must be included in the contract between a payroll bureau and their client. These include, but are not limited to, confirmation of security, confidentiality and details of any sub-processor used.


    Transferring Data Internationally

    Under GDPR, it is prohibited to send your payroll data outside the European Economic Area unless that country provides an adequate level of protection for the rights of individual's personal data. Transferring your data outside of the EU requires extra caution and must meet the specific criteria as set out in the GDPR regulations.


    Free GDPR Webinar for Employers - 9th May



    What does GDPR mean for your business?

    Employers process large amounts of personal data, not least in relation to their customers and their own employees. Consequently, the GDPR will impact most if not all areas of the business and the impact it will have cannot be overstated. In this webinar, we will peel back the legislation to outline clearly:


    Agenda

    • What is GDPR and why is it being implemented?

    • Why employers need to take it seriously

    • How to prepare for GDPR

    • How we are working to help you
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    BrightPay Newsletter - Are you missing out?

    GDPR is changing how we communicate with you. After May 2018, we will not be able to email you about webinar events, special offers, legislation changes, other group products and payroll related news without you subscribing to our newsletter. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime. Don’t miss out - sign up to our newsletter today!

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  • How BrightPay Connect can help with GDPR Mar 21, 2018

    Under the GDPR legislation, where possible the controller should be able to provide self-service remote access to a secure system which would allow the data subject with direct access to his or her personal data. BrightPay Connect is a self-service option which will give you and your employees online remote access to view and manage your payroll data 24/7.


    BrightPay Connect is tailored to help you overcome the challenge that GDPR presents. Furthermore, the cloud functionality will improve your payroll processing with simple email distribution, safe document upload, easy leave management and improved communication with your employees.


    Online synchronisation and automated backup of payroll data will maintain accuracy and improve efficiency of your data. By introducing a self service option, you will begin a new way of remotely accessing information and you will be taking steps to be GDPR ready benefiting from enhanced efficiencies through an integrated payroll system. Additionally a self-service facility will automate payslip distribution, simplify and integrate leave requests and keep a secure backup of your payroll records.


    Simplify your GDPR compliance with BrightPay Connect

    The option of BrightPay Connect will keep your employee payroll data secure and offers your employees the added reassurance that you are taking action to become GDPR ready.


    The advantages of a cloud backup and self-service software are numerous, but mainly it significantly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of payroll work. Workflow is increased since employers are no longer wasting time on manual data processing and therefore are working quicker and more efficiently within the remit of the GDPR guidelines.


    BrightPay Connect is an online payroll and HR software solution that has been developed to help our customers become GDPR ready. It removes the manual data entry requirement for annual leave management, updating employees details, re-sending payslips, backing up your data and HR processing .


    Here are the biggest GDPR advantages of BrightPay Connect:

    Accountant / Employer Dashboard:
    Provide your accountant online self-service instant access to your payroll information. Your accountant can have remote and secure access to employee payslips, payroll reports, amounts due to HMRC, annual leave requests and employee contact details.


    Employee Self Service Portal:
    Invite employees to their own self-service online portal. This secure system would provide employees with direct access to his or her personal data. Employees can securely view and download payslips, P60s and P45s and easily submit holiday requests, view leave taken and leave remaining.


    Integration with payroll:
    BrightPay Connect is fully integrated with BrightPay’s payroll software ensuring the payroll data is correct at all time. Any annual leave or other leave, changes to employee contact details and payroll reports are automatically updated and synchronised with the payroll software and BrightPay Connect.


    Cloud Backup:
    Under GDPR, it is important to keep a copy of payroll files safe in case of fire, theft, damaged computers or cyber attacks. BrightPay Connect is powered using the latest web technologies and hosted on Microsoft Azure for ultimate performance, reliability and scalability. BrightPay Connect maintains a chronological history of your backups which you can restore or download any time keeping your records protected.


    24/7 Online Access:
    BrightPay Connect allows password protected mobile and online access to your payroll data anytime and anywhere. This fulfils the recommendation to provide remote access to a secure system where your employees would have direct access to their personal data.


    HR & Annual Leave Management:
    Employers can view all upcoming leave in the BrightPay Connect company wide calendar where they can easily authorise leave requests with changes automatically flowing back to the payroll. You can upload sensitive HR documents such as employee contracts keeping confidential information restricted to each individual employee.


    Reduce HR Queries:
    BrightPay Connect makes it possible to drastically reduce the number of HR queries you deal with such as access to view personal data, payslip requests, annual leave requests, managing employee contact information and employee payroll records.


    TimeSheet Upload (Coming Soon):
    You will soon be able to upload employees’ hours and timesheets directly through the BrightPay Connect portal. The upload facility offers an additional layer of protection for your payroll information. From there, you can process the payroll from the timesheet upload. This automated process will offer a more secure and accurate recording of the timesheets and hours.


    Book a BrightPay Demo:
    Cloud advancements enables an interactive collaborative experience for your accountants, employers and employees. BrightPay Connect speeds up and transforms the accountant / employer relationship from a document exchange or transactional relationship to an instant access one. Book a demo today to see just how BrightPay Connect can help towards GDPR compliance.


    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software


    BrightPay Newsletter - Are you missing out?


    GDPR is changing how we communicate with you. After May 2018, we will not be able to email you about webinar events, special offers, legislation changes, other group products and payroll related news without you subscribing to our newsletter. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime. Don’t miss out - sign up to our newsletter today!


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  • Who does phasing apply to? Mar 20, 2018

    The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is sending letters to all employers informing them about the contribution increases happening in April. Phasing will apply to all employers who have staff enrolled into a workplace pension scheme. For employers who don’t have staff enrolled then they do not need to take any further action.


    However, all employers must assess their employees on an ongoing basis to see if any of their staff become eligible for automatic enrolment. Where an employee does become eligible then the employer must process the minimum contributions that are applicable at that current time period.


    Are employers ready for contribution increases?

    Employers need to make sure they understand the upcoming contribution increases and how the changes will apply to them and their staff. It will be important for employers to plan ahead and be ready for the increases from the 6 April 2018 and the 6th April 2019.


    The Pensions Regulator is advising employers to check with their current payroll software provider to ensure it will handle and calculate the increased contribution amounts. Be aware that HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools does not cater for the needs of automatic enrolment calculations. Employers who use Basic Tools continue to be at a high risk of receiving a fine for non-compliance as their assessment and contribution calculations must be manually calculated.


    Ensuring the correct contributions are deducted

    Employers must know when and how much to deduct when both sets of increases come into effect. Typically any good payroll software will automatically prompt you when the increases happen in real time. Take steps to ensure that the increases have been put in place correctly, particularly for the first payroll run where the new rates may occur part way through the pay period.


    Ensuring the pension scheme is qualifying


    Pension providers have already begun to take steps to allow for the increases. If your current scheme doesn’t support the increased contributions, you should speak to your pension provider to allow the new increased rates.


    How Payroll can Help


    Your payroll software should easily and automatically calculate the phased increases for you. It’s important that you check that your chosen pension scheme and payroll software can support the phased minimum rates. If you are an accountant looking after auto enrolment for your clients, it will be your responsibility to make sure that the correct amount of pension contributions are being deducted and to inform your clients about these increases.


    If your payroll provider is not prepared for the increases, the correct amount may not be paid to the workplace pension scheme on time. Any delay in implementing the minimum contribution increases would result in non-compliance and may result in fines if it is not rectified.


    BrightPay can automate and calculate the increases for you.


    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software


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    GDPR is changing how we communicate with you. After May 2018, we will not be able to email you about webinar events, special offers, legislation changes, other group products and payroll related news without you subscribing to our newsletter. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime. Don’t miss out - sign up to our newsletter today!

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  • Re-Enrolment & Re-Declaration of Compliance Mar 12, 2018

    Some of the larger companies have already gone through the re-enrolment process.

    Every three years employers must put certain members of staff back into an auto enrolment pension scheme. Your duties will vary depending on whether you have staff to re-enrol. You will need to complete a re-declaration of compliance to inform the Pensions Regulator that you have met your automatic re-enrolment duties.


    The first step is to choose your re-enrolment date and this should be done as soon as possible and recorded on your payroll software. Your re-enrolment date is chosen by you, with a 6 month window to choose from. Therefore, you may decide to align your re-enrolment date with your other business processes such as the start of your financial year, or to avoid seasonal peaks.


    This window falls three months either side of the third anniversary of your staging date. Regardless of whether or not you used postponement at your staging date, re-enrolment occurs three years after your staging date, not your deferral date.


    The chosen re-enrolment date will apply to all staff. You can’t use different dates for different staff members or groups of staff. Also be aware that postponement can not be used for re-enrolment.


    Once you reach your re-enrolment date, use your payroll software to assess certain staff to work out if you need to put them back into your pension scheme. You only need to assess staff who have previously opted out or voluntarily ceased active membership of a qualifying scheme. You must determine whether these employees meet the criteria to be automatically re-enrolled.


    All employers must complete the re-declaration of compliance, even if you do not have staff to re-enrol into your pension scheme. This informs The Pensions Regulator that you have completed your automatic re-enrolment duties. Make sure that your chosen payroll software can handle the re-enrolment process.


    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software


    BrightPay Newsletter - Are you missing out?

    GDPR is changing how we communicate with you. After May 2018, we will not be able to email you about webinar events, special offers, legislation changes, other group products and payroll related news without you subscribing to our newsletter. You will be able to unsubscribe at anytime. Don’t miss out - sign up to our newsletter today!

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  • Getting ready for Increasing Minimum Contributions / Phasing Feb 26, 2018

    The minimum contributions rates for automatic enrolment are also set to increase within the next 12 months. There are two stages to the increase in minimum contributions, which has been described as phasing. The first increase will take place this coming April and the second increase in April 2019.

    On the 6th April 2018, the total minimum contribution will increase from 2% to 5%. Employers will need to contribute a minimum of 2%. Employees will need to contribute a minimum of 3%. Minimum contributions will undergo further increases in April 2019, with the total minimum contribution rate increasing to 8%, representing a 3% employer and 5% employee contribution.

    It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that they are prepared for these new contribution levels. If an employer wishes, they can decide to pay the total minimum contribution rate which is 5% from April 2018 and 8% from April 2019. In these cases, the employee does not have to pay any contributions, unless the rules of the pension scheme say otherwise.

    The employer and the employee can also choose to contribute a higher amount to the workplace pension scheme if they wish. If an employer chooses to pay more than the employer minimum but less than the total minimum amount, then the employee must make up the difference.

    Your payroll software should easily and automatically calculate the phased increases for you. It’s important that you check that your chosen pension scheme and payroll software can support the phased minimum rates. Payroll and pension providers should already be taking steps to ensure they can help their customers comply with the increased rates. It is an employers responsibility to make sure that the correct amount of pension contributions are being deducted at the correct time.

    New employers who reach their duties start date on or after the 6th April 2018 will immediately be required to comply and implement the total minimum 5% contribution rate. Equally, employers who reach their duties start date on or after the 6th April 2019 will need to comply with the total minimum 8% contribution rate.

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    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software

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  • The Automatic Enrolment earnings trigger is to be frozen at £10,000 Feb 6, 2018

    The automatic enrolment trigger determines whether a person is eligible to be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme. The trigger is to be frozen at £10,000 and the lower and upper thresholds are to remain aligned with the National Insurance Contributions (NICs) Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) and Upper Earnings Limit (UEL).


    The qualifying earnings band sets minimum contribution levels for money purchase pension schemes. The band is also used to define who can opt-in if they are under the earnings trigger. The table below shows the proposed automatic enrolment earnings trigger and qualifying earnings band for 2018-19.

    upload_2018-2-6_10-17-1.png


    The government reviews/revises these earnings triggers every year. The supporting analysis states that these decisions have been reached as a result of several key considerations.


    Stability for employers is crucial. The automatic enrolment review 2017 highlights the need for stability as the post staging period of the policy is implemented. Staging is not yet complete, but the phasing of contributions is set to begin in April 2018. The current triggers are there to provide consistency for both individuals and employers in the coming year while balancing levels of affordability and saving.


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    Written by Holly Mc Hugh | BrightPay Payroll Software
  • How will increases in minimum contributions (phasing) affect you? Feb 5, 2018

    By law, the minimum contributions rates for automatic enrolment are also set to increase within the next 12 months. There are two stages to the increase in minimum contributions, which has been described as phasing. The first increase will take place this coming April and the second increase in April 2019.

    On the 6th April 2018, the total minimum contribution will increase from 2% to 5%. Employers will need to contribute a minimum of 2%. Employees will need to contribute a minimum of 3%. Minimum contributions will undergo further increases in April 2019, with the total minimum contribution rate increasing to 8%, representing a 3% employer and 5% employee contribution.

    It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that they are prepared for these new contribution levels. If an employer wishes, they can decide to pay the total minimum contribution rate which is 5% from April 2018 and 8% from April 2019. In these cases, the employee does not have to pay any contributions, unless the rules of the pension scheme say otherwise.

    The employer and the employee can also choose to contribute a higher amount to the pension scheme if they wish. If an employer chooses to pay more than the employer minimum but less than the total minimum amount, then the employee must make up the difference.

    New employers who reach their duties start date on or after the 6th April 2018 will immediately be required to comply and implement the total minimum 5% contribution rate. Equally, employers who reach their duties start date on or after the 6th April 2019 will need to comply with the total minimum 8% contribution rate.

    Your payroll software will cater for the minimum contribution increases. Employers should see a notification or alert informing them that the increases are being implemented in April. Payroll will make it easy for employers to calculate the appropriate employee and employer contribution increases and show the amounts on the employee payslips.


    Free Phasing Webinar

    Register for a free phasing webinar to help you understand how these changes will affect your payroll processing. It’s completely free to attend.

    Register here

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    Written by Karen Bennett | BrightPay Payroll Software



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  • How far do employers' duties extend? Jan 15, 2018

    “There is a general assumption that once employers have met their initial duties by enrolling eligible jobholders into a compliant scheme, re-enrolling those who had opted out every three years, and enrolling new workers as and when they start work, this is largely ‘job done’”.

    Can employers simply sit back at this point and congratulate themselves on a job well done, or are there constant issues that employers need to be made aware of?

    A Joint Policy Paper on Eversheds Sutherland and Royal London explores this question. They conclude that employers in general, and larger employers in particular should stay focused when it comes to automatic enrolment. Employers in other countries are facing legal action as they are deemed not to have done the right thing when it came to their employees pensions. This should be a wake up call for employers, as the employers of today should meet higher standards rather than the legal minimum requirements.

    Employers who wish to protect themselves against these risks may wish to consider the following key areas identified in the paper:
    • Take due diligence when choosing a plan. Go beyond simply selecting any ‘compliant’ plan.
    • Recognise that auto enrolment relies heavily on ‘defaults’ and that some employees may be very passive in the whole process; in choosing a workplace pensionscheme, employers may therefore want to look at service to members, the default fund and other investment options. Employers may wish to engage with their employees to ensure that they are aware that their statutory minimum contribution rates may not be sufficient to enable workers to afford to take their retirement when they would like to. Larger employers in particular might be in a position to go ‘the extra mile’ in this regard.
    • Employers should review the scheme on a regular basis. Although there are no obvious UK precedents for legal action against employers who choose an under-performing pension scheme, US employers have paid out a total of over $350 million to settle claims relating to failures in retirement plans for employees.
    • Employers should consider the position of employees who are members of the scheme but are non-taxpayers, as somepension schemesdeliver tax relief through the ‘net pay arrangement’ (NPA) which does not deliver tax relief to non-taxpayers. In contrast, the ‘relief at source’ process which does; employers could be vulnerable to challenge lower paid workers if they choose an NPA scheme without good reason, since pension received by the lower paid worker in retirement is likely to be smaller as a result.
    • Ensure that record-keeping is of a high-standard Anygood payroll softwarecan help with this.

    Written by Holly McHugh |BrightPay Payroll Software


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  • Re-enrolment - Act Early Nov 7, 2017

    Re-enrolment duties must be completed approximately three years after your automatic enrolment staging date, some of our customers reached their re-enrolmentdates in 2017. On the re-enrolment date, employers must reassess certain staff for re-enrolment, you need to assess staff if:

    • They opted out of the auto-enrolment workplace pensionscheme more than 12 months before the re-enrolment date
    • They left the pension scheme under the scheme rules (known as “ceasing active membership”) more the 12 months before the re-enrolment date
    • They are in the pension scheme but have reduced their contributions to below the level required for auto-enrolment

    Re-enrolment is very important, to date it has largely gone under the public radar as the focus remains on enrolling those UK employers who are yet to reach their staging date through to early 2018. As UK legislation requires this process is to be completed every three years, it is vital to understand what is expected by both HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Failure to comply with automatic re-enrolment and re-declaration of compliance duties and deadlines may result in fines. To succeed in the re-enrolment process, employers must familiarise themselves with their obligations and act early. There are some simple steps to follow:

    • Choose your re-enrolment date that falls in the three months either side of the three year anniversary of the original staging date
    • Assess your staff on the re-enrolment date
    • Write to your staff that you have re-enrolled within 6 weeks of your re-enrolment date
    • Complete your re-declaration of compliance within 5 months of the third anniversary of your staging date

    By communicating proactively with your employees you can help them understand the benefits of pension entitlement and reduce the risk that they might lose sight of it in the future. The re-enrolment process is not straightforward, however, using payroll softwarethat handles the re-enrolment process, such as BrightPay, will greatly reduce the time required to remain compliant.


    Written by Alena Amelyanchuk | BrightPay Payroll Software

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