When business owners set up a company pension scheme they need to make a few choices, including deciding how much the business needs to pay into the pension. Many employers understand that this must be at least 1% but few seem to know that there is more to decide than the percentage: do they want 1% of the total wages, 1% of qualifying earnings, or something else?
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We have just added Sage One to the list of popular accounting systems we integrate with. Over the past two years or so, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have moved their accounting online, and Sage One is one of many systems catering to this demand.
Automatic enrolment was devised with a long term aim that lots of employees should save meaningful amounts for their old age. That aim was divided up into two sections, each subdivided into steps. The first section is called staging and is bringing in lots of employers and their employees, in stages. This is why the date an employer’s duties start is known as their staging date. So what happens if an employer sticks their head in the sand and ignores their staging date?
FreeAgent is the latest on the list of popular accounting system we integrate with. Some years ago, I had a meeting with a senior figure from a large, accounting software firm. He said he thought we were making a mistake by taking what he called the Swiss position.
In an earlier post I wrote about how pension master trusts could be set up without regulatory approval, leading to a very mixed standard of available workplace pensions. This made it hard for small businesses to know who to trust with their employees’ retirement savings. Since then, the situation has moved on and Parliament has created new powers to tackle the problem.
When Real Time Information was first introduced, we were told it would save businesses hundreds of millions of pounds, make tax more accurate, reduce tax credits over-payments, enable dynamic adjustment of Universal Credits, move the planets into alignment and bring about world peace. Okay, maybe not the last two.
With such ambitious aims and a very short timescale for implementation, nobody should be surprised that the result wasn’t perfect.
New customers switch their payrolls to our system at all times of the year but there is always a peak at the start of a new tax year. This is because payroll works one tax year at a time, accumulating information as the tax year goes on and then resetting it for the start of the next.
When someone starts their first job, they normally don’t have a P45 with their tax code on it. The new employer needs another way to decide which tax code and student loan deductions to apply. HMRC publishes a form for this purpose, but using it can trigger as many questions as answers.