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Watch out for exemption certificate scams


Be wary of scams involving the sale of fake certificates that suggest you do not have workplace pension duties.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is investigating at least one company offering what it describes as “Certificates of Auto Enrolment Exemption” to employers.

If you’re offered the chance to buy a certificate of exemption or any similar sounding document, decline and contact TPR immediately.

Read their guidance on how to spot a scam.

You can use their Duties Checker to quickly understand what you must do to comply with your duties.

96% of employers are confident of AE success

For the first time, TPR have published research into how UK employers like you are meeting their duties following the completion of their declaration of compliance.

Around 96% of employers asked said they are confident they are fully compliant with their ongoing duties towards their staff. The analysis shows AE is business as usual for most employers, and that it’s less complicated than they thought – with most micro employers spending just an hour and a half a month on their duties.

Stat of the month: TPR are sending out over 230,000 letters in July, reminding employers about forthcoming increases to the minimum pension contributions they make to staff.

Contributions are being increased gradually over time. From 6 April 2018, the minimum amount you have to pay in will be 2% of your staff’s pay, and the amount your staff put in will rise to 3%. On 6 April 2019, this will rise again to 3% from you, and 5% from them. You may receive one of these letters. To find out more about what you need to do, visit the TPR website.

Updated online information for employers

TPR have made some changes to the online page you see after you complete the Duties Checker. This is so you can quickly and clearly understand what tasks you should be doing to meet your duties on time. It also highlights what steps you should have completed.

Changes include:

  • A marker to show which step you should now be on and which task you should be currently completing
  • New messages to tell you which previous steps you should have completed, if you haven’t already
  • Alerts as you get closer to your declaration of compliance deadline.

New employer? Watch our video explaining your duties

From 1 October, if you’re expanding your business and planning to take someone on for the first time, you’ll need to provide them with a workplace pension.

Watch our video for new employers, explaining what you’ll need to do to meet your new duties.

Your legal duties begin on the day your first member of staff starts work, so prepare as early as you can.

Did you know?

In some cases, directors may be exempt from AE duties. We have been asked questions from companies where this might be the case – for example where there are two directors with no contracts of employment. For a full range of the examples, we have specific guidance on our website which details when directors are exempt and when they have AE duties.

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