New research by NEST has found that employers facing pension auto-enrolment staging in 2014 have fundamental challenges ahead.
The report, NEST Insight, commissioned by the national not-for-profit pension scheme NEST, found that 20% of first-year employers had previously taken over 16 months to get ready, despite already offering a pension scheme to at least some of their workers. And 66% found the task more difficult than anticipated.
Tim Jones, NEST chief executive, said: "2014 sees a new set of employers meeting their duties and they may find it more difficult than their predecessors. Our research suggests that nine out of ten employers will expect help to fill any gaps in experience, expectations and knowledge."
Jones added: "Our research also suggests that intermediaries are gearing up to help, but it's vital that providers, intermediaries and employers work together to ensure the next wave of employers can meet their duties successfully."
NEST Insight also found that:
- Around a third of 2014 employers are likely to either not offer any pension scheme at all or just have a shell stakeholder scheme in place.
- Only 52% said that they had a good understanding of pensions compared with 96% of earlier stagers.
- 53% of employers staging between February and July 2014 are aware that they can postpone enrolments for up to three months, but only 12% are planning to do so.
- One in ten employers staging in 2014 say they plan to leave it as late as possible to comply.
NEST has been set up specifically for automatic enrolment and is a scheme that any employer can use. Its resources can be accessed at the NEST employer help centre.