The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned firms are failing to comply with auto-enrolment legislation as they approach their staging date.
Around 1.8 million small businesses still need to set up a scheme between now and 2018. It is calculated that fines levied on these businesses for non-compliance are likely to be in the region of £22m.
As firms with less than 30 employees are set to stage from October 2016 through to April 2017, the FBS is urging firms to take auto-enrolment (AE) seriously.
The managing director of its workplace pensions scheme provider Paul Baker (pictured above) said: "It is wrong to think no action is required if you only have one employee, or all your employees are opting out of having a workplace pension."
As a result the trade body has launched FSB Premier, which allows members to have AE administered by the organisation, and has been live for a month.
Baker said: "We were getting asked by our members ‘what can you do for me?' Many businesses do not want to do staging themselves and want it taken off their desk.
"The FSB insists that a product it offers must be available to all members anywhere so if you have one employee, we can AE for you."
The offering aims to help those at the bottom end of the market who struggle to find a big provider who will help them.
"Some workplace pension providers will not wish to work with small and micro-businesses, which reduces the options available when a small business comes to search for one," he added.
Premier is targeted at the association's member firms that want more than what the original offer, FSB Essential, which was set up in 2013 with Legal and General, provides them.
It has seen roughly 30% of members choose Premier since it started in August, while over 4,500 members have staged with Essentials and a further 18,000 are in talks to do so.
One of the main distinctions between the Essentials and Premier package is this more intimate level of help.
Up to ten FSB employees who are dedicated to pensions answer calls in its Gloucestershire headquarters. "A small and well-trained team can get a lot done," said Baker.
The other distinction through Premier is the trade body will administer AE for the member firm instead of the company's accountant or payroll provider.
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