Tag Archives: auto enrolment

UK Summer Budget 2015 et al – as many questions as answers for business

Following the budget last week there is good and bad news for companies, with SME owners and shareholders given mixed messages for their future growth strategies.

For example; the reduction in corporation tax is a boost, as is the permanent annual investment allowance of £200k and the increase in the national insurance employment allowance, however this is set against increases in the national living wage and a fundamental change in the way dividends are taxed, even with a new £5k dividend allowance. Payment of corporation tax for larger companies is being brought forward and insurance premium tax increases also impact operational business costs.

The staging dates for the auto-enrolment of all businesses have been issued by the Pensions Regulator and for many SMEs this is now becoming a critical planning activity, with the associated costs of employer contributions. Allied to this is the pension freedoms for those over 55, how this may impact the plans of those working in companies and the potential skill shortages once they retire. In addition, some SME owners may want to re-assess their pension contributions, especially where tax allowances may restrict contributions, and exit strategies as part of their business planning activities.

The budget has provided a myriad of changes for the coming years and even more complexity for businesses, especially SMEs, and using an interim business partner to review your company’s business plans and potential scenarios for the future from an objective viewpoint is beneficial.

MW Interim Finance delivers independent interim financial and business partnering support to SMEs and larger corporates, either on a full-time project or part-time basis, working with directors and owners to deliver operational and strategic objectives.

For further information or a confidential discussion about your specific requirements, please contact Martin Walby FCMA CGMA on + 44 (0) 7876 566875 or email martin.walby@mwinterimfinance.co.uk

Auto enrolment pitfalls and practicalities………..

The majority of companies who have not yet already been captured under the umbrella of pension auto enrolment will do so in 2014. Even companies whose staging dates may be later this year or during 2015 may also be subsidiaries of larger groups and this is when implementation of auto enrolment could prove a significant disruption to the business.

The parent company may decide that as its staging date is earlier than its subsidiaries, all the group companies will need to auto enroll earlier than expected and this presents a number of logistical issues to the HR and finance departments of each business. A review of all employee payroll and financial IT systems, frequency of employee payments, payment dates, administrative procedures and transactional reporting is essential. As a consequence there may need to be changes to standardise systems and record keeping, as well as setting up a pension scheme with a third party plus the communication of the implementation. Adopting a scheme that will suit all employees, covering their age and attitude to risk with a degree of flexibility, is also something many smaller businesses under estimate.

The timescale for implementation in the above scenario is likely to be lengthy and it should be treated as a project sponsored by the owners and/or directors of the business.

Is your company ready?