BNH dubs delays to pension reforms a disaster.

A leading employee benefit consultancy has slammed the Government’s move to revise the dates for the roll-out of the new workplace pension schemes.

Brunning Newman Houghton Limited (BNH), based in Tunbridge Wells, said the amended timetable meant that up to four million of the possible 10 million potential new entrants will experience further delays in receiving valuable employer contributions for their retirement.

Under the new timetable, all employers with a ‘staging date’ (the date by which employers must comply with their new duties) on or before February 2014 will not be affected. However, employers with 50 to 249 employees will now be reallocated ‘staging dates’ between April 2014 and April 2015 and those with fewer than 50 employees will see their ‘staging dates’ pushed back to between June 2015 and April 2017.

As a result of this delay, the increase in the minimum rate of employer pension contributions from one to two per cent of earnings will be delayed from October 2016 to October 2017. Employer contributions will then increase to three per cent from October 1, 2018.

Tim Mills, Senior Consultant at BNH, said: “The fact that the Government has altered the timetable, before these reforms have even commenced, simply demonstrates the ongoing muddled thinking that has blighted the landscape for workplace pensions for many years. As an example, it will be 2018 before all employers have pension schemes in place. This is a staggering 14 years after Lord Turner produced his report for the Government that started this process.

“Pushing back the ‘staging dates’ for employers with fewer than 50 employees to between June 2015 and April 2017 will have massive repercussions in Kent and Sussex as nearly nine out of 10 companies in the region employ less than 10 members of staff. All these employees will face further delays before employer contributions for their retirement begin.

“But the main question is how are employers, pension providers and employee benefit consultants like ourselves able to plan for this when the goalposts are constantly moving?”

For more on the Workplace Pensions Reforms and to ensure your business is ready for the new legislation please call Tim Mills at BNH on 01892 861002 or

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