Publicans warned about new Government pensions scheme

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Pensions: licensees must prepare for a new Government scheme
Pensions: licensees must prepare for a new Government scheme
Licensees have been warned to plan ahead to prepare for a new pension scheme, or face imprisonment if they fail to comply.

Auto Enrolment, a Government scheme which will impact most pubs between 2014 and 2016, will require licensees to check each payslip they issue to establish whether the employee falls under the pension scheme. This is based on an employee’s age, wage and how long they have worked for the business.

In preparation, employers will need to select a suitable provider, register the scheme with a regulator and check which employees fall under the scheme.

Speaking at the 20th annual Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA) conference in North Yorkshire last week, Keith Nicholson, of Symphony Business Advisers, said that this is going to be very problematic for pubs, as many will not have a dedicated HR team.

Nicholson warned licensees not to ignore Auto Enrolment as there are daily fines of between £50 and £500, and up to two years
of imprisonment.

He also advised against encouraging employees not to sign up for the scheme as there are fixed penalties of up to £1,500 for this.

“I can envisage this being the next big PPI scandal,” he explained. “They will basically be cold-calling your employees saying: ‘Did your employer offer you the scheme properly? Has he got records? Did he perhaps say you shouldn’t join this?’”

Symphony Business Advisers has set up a new system that records all the relevant information for employers and ensures that they do not receive any fines.

Related topics: Legislation

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