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Gov’t plans auto-enrolment simplification ahead of SME start date

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Gov’t plans auto-enrolment simplification ahead of SME start date

The government is planning to simplify the auto-enrolment regime prior to small and medium sized businesses' introduction to the reforms.

Auto-enrolment launched for companies with over 120,000 employees in October 2012. Firms with a 100 or less employees will have to comply with the reforms from May 2014 onwards.

Speaking at event organised by the National Employment Savings Trusts (Nest), pensions minister Steve Webb said the government would use the early stages of auto-enrolment to assess what systematic barriers and difficulties existed and work to remove these for smaller firms.

‘What we will do, is practice it on the big guys, learn our lessons, and then do a round of simplification so that by the time we get it to small and medium sized firms those irritating things that don’t really need to be there and the things that don’t make sense we can iron out,’ he said.

Webb (pictured) also said the government’s proposed reforms of the small pension pot regime, dubbed ‘pot follows member’ could be a success, provided companies selected good quality schemes to auto-enrol employees into.

The ‘pot follows member’ plan has attracted criticism that it could lead to employees being moved into worse schemes than they had been in before.

‘Quality is clearly the second issue we need to address: we need to make sure that not only is enough money coming in but they are good enough schemes,’ he said.

'If we make sure that people are enrolling in good schemes in the first case then we don't have to worry about pot follows member'

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