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Is your business ready for Workplace Pension Reform?

HFS Milbourne and TWM Solicitors are co-hosting a free breakfast seminar aimed at
helping local business owners and HR managers gear up for the new Workplace
Pension Reforms which come into effect for many companies in 2012.

The event, which takes place on Thursday 2 February 2012 from 8.30 to 9.45 am at TWM offices in Woodbridge Road, Guildford will provide a step by step guide to what employers should be doing now to ensure they comply with the legislation. There will be an opportunity to speak to the experts in a Q & A session at the end of the seminar.

From 2012 employers will be legally required to enrol eligible workers into a qualifying pension scheme without any active decision on the employee’s part. The rules apply to employees aged between 22 and state pension age that earn above the income tax personal allowance of £7,475 in 2011/12.

Employers can choose to use the pension scheme they already have in place but it must meet minimum standards in respect of the benefits it provides and the amount of contributions paid to it.

The reforms will be introduced gradually over the next four years with larger employers having to comply with the law from October 2012. Other employers will have to follow suit during 2013-2016.

“Although the legislation is aimed at encouraging people to save for their future retirement it has not been popular with many SMEs who see it as just another financial burden”, says Iain Halket, Director at HFS Milbourne.

Clare Chappell, senior associate in employment law at TWM will consider the employment law implications of the workplace pension reforms and advise on what employers need to do to become compliant. “The reforms are yet another addition to the wealth of employment related legislation and employers need to get ready to
effect the changes”, says Clare. “Although it feels like there is plenty of time before they actually need to enrol their staff in a compliant pension scheme, businesses need to understand the changes and begin preparing now, to ensure that they don’t run
into difficulties and claims later on.”

Clare will be covering the employment law background to the new regime, explaining which staff will be caught and what you need to do from an employment law perspective.

Iain will provide an overview of the new system including the most recent updates to the rules which were announced by pension minister Steven Webb as recently as last month. In November, the government confirmed that automatic enrolment will begin on time in 2012 as planned. “Small business owners cannot become complacent about the changes – doing nothing is just not an option”,  says Iain.  “The full implication of the Reforms need to be taken into account and advance planning and budgeting is essential. As an initial action we would recommend that any existing employee pension scheme is assessed to see if it meets the minimum requirements of the Reforms.”

Iain Halket - Director HFS Milbourne

To reserve a seat at the seminar, please email guildford.reception@twmsolicitors.com

or call 01483 752700.

  Jane Newick,
The Wordbox, tel 01483 562244/07907 566773, jane@thewordbox.com