Apr 2022

5

Auto Enrolment Update: Everything you need to know

Automatic Enrolment in Ireland is a subject which has been in discussion for over 25 years now. In 2017, the matter was brought to the forefront again with our Taoiseach at the time, Leo Varadkar, announcing that the scheme would begin in 2021. However, as we all know, delays caused by COVID-19 meant that this didn’t happen as planned. One year later, we are in a much better place and thankfully, details on the planned state pensions Auto Enrolment scheme were announced on the 29th of March 2022.

 

What is Auto Enrolment?

Auto Enrolment is being brought in to ensure that those working in the private sector have an income for their retirement, beyond the state pension. The scheme will be phased in over the next ten years. The system is to be set up by 2023 and employee enrolments into the scheme will begin in 2024. All employees aged between 23 and 60, earning over €20,000 a year and who are not already in an occupational pension scheme, will be automatically enrolled. While participation in the scheme will be voluntary, workers will have to opt-out of the scheme rather than opt-in. It is hoped that this model will encourage workers to remain in the scheme.

 

How much will go towards employees’ pension?

The employee, the employer, and the state will all make contributions towards the employee’s pension pot. Employees’ pension savings will be matched on a one-for-one basis by the employer, up to a maximum of €80,000 of earnings. The state will provide a top up of €1 for every €3 saved by the worker. This means that for every €3 saved by the employee, a further contribution of €4 will be made by the employer and the state combined.

 

Pension contribution example

Employee Contribution Employer Contribution State Contribution
€3 €3 €1

Employer and employee pension contributions will be calculated as a percentage of the employee’s income. Rates will start at 1.5% and will increase every three years by 1.5%, until they eventually reach 6% by year 10 (2034).

 

Pension contribution rates

Years Contribution rate
2024 - 2026 1.5%
2027 - 2029 3%
2030 - 2033 4.5%
2034 onwards 6%

 

What does the new Automatic Enrolment scheme mean for payroll processers?

When the scheme is first rolled out in 2024, it will mean a few additional steps in the payroll process. Those processing payroll must ensure that all eligible employees have been enrolled into one of the four retirement saving funds that employees will have to choose from. For employees who do not express a preference for any fund, they should be enrolled into the default fund. After 6 months of participation, employees will have the choice to opt-out or suspend participation. When a person chooses to opt out, they can receive a refund of their contributions. Once opted out, the employee will need to be re-enrolled after two years.

 

Will there be changes in my payroll software?

Your payroll software provider will have ample time to implement these changes into the software and should be ready to go by 2024. At Thesaurus Payroll Manager, Auto Enrolment is something that we have had programmed into our UK payroll software, BrightPay UK, since the scheme was introduced in the UK in 2012. Thanks to this experience, we already have the knowledge of how Auto Enrolment in the software should work. Our aim, as is with our UK payroll product, will be to make the Auto Enrolment process as simple for the user as possible by automating the process.

 

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Posted byElaine CarrollinAuto Enrolment


Jan 2022

19

Automatic enrolment for accountants: Lessons learned from the UK

It is a decade this year since auto enrolment was rolled out in the UK. Created to address a growing pensions crisis caused by a lack of retirement savings, an increasing life expectancy, and an overall older population, it was brought into law with the Pensions Act 2008.

The policy is widely considered to have been successful as it has certainly reversed the decline in workplace pension saving. The introduction of auto enrolment led to a tenfold increase in total membership of defined contribution occupational schemes, up from 2.1 million in 2011 to 21 million in 2019.

 

What is auto enrolment?

In the UK, auto, or automatic enrolment requires employers to automatically enrol eligible workers into a workplace pension scheme. Both the employer and the employee must pay minimum contributions into the pension pot. All other employees have the right to join or opt-in to the workplace pension scheme, depending on their age and earnings.

It began with a phased rollout, first by employer size, starting with large employers in 2012, followed by mid-sized employers in 2014, and then small employers between 2016 and 2018. The minimum contributions rates were also phased in, beginning at a 1% employer contribution and a 1% worker contribution before steadily increasing to its full amount in April 2019, that of 3% from employers, 4% from employees, and 1% tax relief.

Find out what to expect with auto enrolment in Ireland here.

 

The opportunities of auto enrolment

Auto enrolment will mean different things for different people. While it may offer employees reassurance for their future, it may also cause a considerable challenge for employers to fund this extra expense. However, if its rollout in Ireland is similar to the UK, it will also create considerable opportunities. By introducing auto enrolment, the UK government effectively created a new market for pension providers, asset managers, and other financial institutions, while also creating a new and considerable service that accountants and bookkeepers could offer to their clients.

UK accountants, bureaus, and bookkeepers offering auto enrolment typically package their AE services as one that offers expert knowledge on the topic, ensures compliance, and will see payroll processed without a hitch. Common features of this service include:

  • Assessing clients’ employee eligibility
  • Assist on pension scheme selection and assistance with set-up on the scheme
  • Auto enrol clients’ employees into their chosen pension scheme
  • Issuing employee communications on behalf of their clients
  • Provide on-going administration of auto enrolment
  • Manage employees opting out or postponing auto enrolment
  • Re-enrolment of employees
  • Submitting Declarations of Compliance to The Pensions Regulator
  • Ensure their clients legal obligations are met

Avoiding the pitfalls of auto enrolment

While auto enrolment may represent a potential new service you can offer to your clients, you should be cautious as to how you present this service. At the beginning of the auto enrolment roll-out in the UK, accountants and bookkeepers were uncertain of how to offer these services and how much to charge for them. Many were caught out by undervaluing the service. It’s important to get the pricing right from the start, to avoid having to increase costs on your clients.

How do I choose the correct pricing strategy for auto enrolment?

A number of pricing strategies are now in use, including a tiered pricing strategy, a monthly retainer fee, and a price list strategy.

  • A tiered strategy allows you to provide AE services at different price points for different levels of service. For example, with each higher tier you can add on services such as postponement, declaration of compliance, and payroll & pension reporting.
  • A monthly retainer fee sees bureaus increase their monthly charge for processing payroll to include the additional AE duties. The monthly payment will spread the cost of auto enrolment over a period of time, and it is typically offered as part of a contract.
  • Alternatively, you can choose a price list strategy where you present a menu of the services with each item priced. With this strategy, there is also an option to offer bundle deals, for example if the client buys more than five tasks or services.

Each of these different pricing strategies outline clear deliverables for the client. They offer clarity, choice and control for the client, while being a profitable service for you.

 

How do I choose the best payroll software for auto enrolment?

The rollout of auto enrolment may be stressful, for both you and your clients. The payroll software you use will not only decide what auto enrolment services you can offer but also the time you spend carrying out these services, and thus, the extra workload you must take on.

In a letter sent in July to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Chartered Accountants Ireland wrote that payroll service providers have requested a lead in time of at least 18 months in order to adopt auto enrolment. However, with 9 years' experience providing full auto enrolment functionality to our UK customers, Thesaurus Software have the resources and knowledge necessary to quickly begin updating the payroll software with these features.

Thesaurus Payroll Manager will offer full auto enrolment functionality at no additional cost. All Thesaurus Payroll Manager packages will include auto enrolment plus free phone and email support to help you through your auto enrolment journey.

 

Discover more:

To discover more about Thesaurus Payroll Manager and how it can improve your payroll services and save you time, download a 60-day free trial.

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Posted byÁine CourtneyinAuto Enrolment


Oct 2021

5

Report calls for pension reform

On the 17th September, a new report, Population Aging and the Public Finances in Ireland, was published by Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe. It highlighted the need for significant structural reforms to address the aging population, longer life expectancy, and the associated age-related expenditure. It found that current revenue increases will not be sufficient and suggested that policy reforms such as linking the Stage Pension Age to life expectancy will be required.

What are the report’s findings?

At the moment, two major factors are contributing to a worrying financial situation for the state and for those most vulnerable in our society. One, people are living longer. Life expectancy is expected to grow by three and a half years between 2019 and 2050. Two, similar to other developed countries, the birth rate is expected to fall. Such developments will have a substantial impact on the age-profile of Ireland’s population. It is predicted that 8% of people in Ireland will be aged 80 or over in 2050, up from 3% in 2019. This means that there will be fewer people of a working age generating the necessary funds to support an older population.

As a result of the aging population, the report expects the GDP (Gross domestic product) to slow relative to current growth rates and that the associated costs of an older population will be €17 billion higher than in 2019, in today’s terms. A slowdown in output growth will impact government revenue which in turn will create considerable pressure to fund this increase in demographically sensitive expenditure such as the state pension. It states, that without reforms, this will push the public finances onto “an unsustainable path”.

Proposed policy reform:

It is proposed that the most important reform to tackle the estimated cost of an aging population is to increase the State Pension Age (SPA), aligning it with the increased life-expectancy. However, in December of last year, the Social Welfare Act 2020 was signed into law preventing the previous plans to increase the SPA from 66 to 67 in 2021 and to 68 in 2028. The report estimates that the cost of keeping the SPA at 66 will be €50 billion over the long term.

This publication is part of the Finance Department’s submission to the Commision on Pensions which was set up in November 2020 in order to examine sustainability and eligibility issues in respect to the State Pension and the Social Insurance Fund.

The Pensions Commision only recently submitted their report to Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys in early September. It is understood, but not yet confirmed, that the report recommends that the SPA rise in quarterly increments to 67 between 2028 and 2031, before gradually increasing to 68 by 2039.

What about auto enrolment?

The report published by the Minister of Finance included no mention of auto enrolment. Looking at the UK, auto enrolment was introduced in 2012 to address similar issues facing Ireland; lack of retirement savings, increasing life expectancy, and the long-term repercussions that this would have on their State Benefits system. The Pensions Act 2008 requires all UK employers to offer workplace pension schemes and to automatically enrol eligible workers into the scheme.

In February of this year, it was announced that the proposed auto enrolment scheme in Ireland would be delayed yet again, until at least 2023. The auto enrolment scheme would see workers automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, with contributions made by the employer, the employee, and the state. The most recent figures from 2019 showed that only 30% of all employees are making regular contributions to their pensions and the gross income point at which most employees make a pension contribution is between €40,000 and €45,000. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the issue, creating a growing divide between who are saving for retirement and who cannot.

Auto enrolment is undoubtedly necessary to address serious vulnerabilities in Ireland’s existing pension model. Cróna Clohisey, the Public Policy Lead with Chartered Accountants Ireland, previously spoke in March 2021, on how the SPA should not be changed without parallel reform to private pensions. Commenting on the issue, she said “Introducing auto-enrolment is the obvious answer to what is now a huge problem. This scheme will incentivise people to save and that in turn will reduce the reliance on the state pension”.

To learn about auto enrolment and how Thesaurus Payroll Manager will cater for it speak to a member of our team today. 

Posted byÁine CourtneyinAuto Enrolment


May 2021

26

Automatic enrolment delayed until 2023

The introduction of automatic enrolment in Ireland will be delayed until at least 2023. The scheme's purpose is for workers to supplement their state pension as a shocking 40% of private sectors workers rely solely on the state pension to fund their retirement. This will mean by law, that employers will have to enrol their employees in a workplace pension scheme. Auto enrolment was supposed to be introduced at the beginning of 2021. It’s now looking like it will be rolled out in 2023, but it could be extended yet again as the full details for auto enrolment are still being ironed out by the government.

How will auto enrolment work in Ireland?

During the phased roll out of auto enrolment, employees will be required to make initial minimum default pension contributions of 1.5% of their qualifying earnings, increasing by 1.5 percentage points every 3 years thereafter to a maximum contribution of 6% at the beginning of year 10.

Employers will be required to make matching (tax deductible) pension contributions on behalf of the employee at the specified contribution rate to help fund their retirement. This means that employees, employers and the State will each contribute to the member’s account.

What are the criteria?

Employees between the ages of 23 and 60 who earn €20,000 or more per annum (across all employments) will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme with no waiting period. All employees outside of these criteria may opt in themselves. Mandatory auto enrolment requirements won’t apply to any employee who is already a member of a pension scheme, provided the scheme meets certain minimum standards. Automatic enrolment will be an earnings-related workplace savings system where employees will retain the freedom to opt out if they wish.

Can I prepare for auto enrolment?

It's important that employers understand what they need to do and prepare early. Employers should educate themselves on auto enrolment and familiarise themselves with the terminology. Businesses may need to think about one-off costs to set up an auto enrolment pension scheme, as well as the ongoing cost of paying money into the scheme and managing the process.

If you are a new business and employing staff for the first time after auto enrolment is introduced, your legal duties for automatic enrolment will begin on the day your first member of staff starts work. There will be guidance and support available to ensure that businesses comply with auto enrolment.

Will my payroll software cater for this?

If you’re fortunate enough to use a good payroll software then this will handle and automate the administrative duties for you. With Thesaurus Payroll Manager, there will be no additional charge for any of the auto enrolment features. All of this will be included as part of your payroll software package, which also includes free customer phone and email support.

At Thesaurus Software, we already experienced the rollout of auto enrolment in the UK, with our UK payroll product, BrightPay. Auto enrolment phased in at the beginning of October 2012, starting with the larger UK companies. Every company in the UK enrolled employees into a pension scheme by 1st February 2018. BrightPay UK introduced auto enrolment features which enabled users to automate and simplify the entire process, so we are already experts in the field and well prepared for the rollout in Ireland.

The extension of auto enrolment beyond 2023 looks very possible as the target market for auto enrolment is younger, lower-paid workers in sectors such as Wholesale and Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food Services, Construction and Industry. These sectors have been worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Adding an extra cost to these employers and employees who have been living off the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) for the past year, to suddenly start paying into a pension fund, seems unfair and unlikely.

 

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Posted byHolly McHughinAuto Enrolment


Nov 2019

28

Auto enrolment is finally on its way

Today we’re living longer and healthier lives than ever before! This is fantastic! Right? Well… sorry to be Captain Buzzkill, but as a nation, with this increase in life expectancy our saving habits haven’t caught up. Put simply, we’re not saving enough for our retirement! It’s no good having all those extra years if you haven’t even got enough to go to bingo with the girls every weekend.

Many people are planning on relying solely on their State pension, but this would lead to a serious decline in the standard of living. Never fear, however, the Irish government is here. To combat this issue, the State is bringing in an automatic enrolment system where all employers will be required to enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards the employee’s pension pot.

The government has spent the last few years ironing out all the details and, hallelujah... the day is nigh. A date has finally been announced by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, and from 2022 pension auto enrolment will be rolled out on a phased basis.

Under this new system, an employee will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. It will apply to all employees aged between 23 and 60, earning more than €20,000 a year and not already in a workplace pension scheme. To begin with, the employee contribution will equal 1% of their salary, increasing to 6% of their salary in their tenth year of employment.

For employees, the best bit is that your employer will be required to contribute the same percentage, so after 6 years, workers and employers will be saving a combined 12% of salary into a pension. The State will then add a further 2% contribution which makes a whopping total of 14% of salary with a cap of €75,000. That will be more than enough to buy two double books and a couple of cans of Sprite at the bingo on weekends!

So how automatic is automatic? Well, as an employee, it’s completely automated. That’s the beauty. However, if you’re an employer, then you’ll likely have certain mandatory auto enrolment duties to complete. Such as:

  • Choosing a workplace pension scheme
  • Calculating who needs to be enrolled in a pension scheme 
  • Informing employees about their rights 
  • Calculating contributions and showing them on a payslip 
  • Completing a declaration of compliance to inform the Irish government that you have complied with the law

Wow, that actually sounds like a lot of work I say as I wipe the sweat from my top lip. Not if you’re a Thesaurus Software customer! Thesaurus Payroll Manager is ahead of the auto enrolment curve and will automate all of these pesky auto enrolment tasks to ensure the transition is seamless. The best part is that they won’t charge you anything extra for any auto enrolment features.

Auto Enrolment in Ireland Auto Enrolment Processes More Auto Enrolment Blogs

Posted byAoibheann ByrneinAuto Enrolment


Jul 2019

11

Auto Enrolment: More payroll changes on the way

The government has announced major changes to the pensions system in Ireland, including State, private and public service pensions, which aims to address Ireland’s significant retirement savings gap.

The Taoiseach confirmed that the Government's key goals are to "create a fairer and simpler contributory pension system where a person's pension outcome reflects their social insurance contributions, and in parallel, create a new and necessary culture of personal retirement saving in Ireland".

From 2020, a new State pension system will come into place based on a ‘total contributions approach’ (TCA) where a person’s lifetime contribution will more closely match the benefit they receive. Under TCA, a person's contributory pension will be proportionate to the contributions they make, with fair regard for periods of child rearing, full time caring, and periods in receipt of social protection payments.

Although the State pension will be reformed and will remain at the core of the pension system in Ireland, a new retirement savings system is still needed to supplement the State pension.

Minister Regina Doherty said: “It is increasingly evident that most Irish workers are not saving enough, or indeed at all, for their retirement years. Many people will be faced with a serious reduction in their living standards when they retire – a fall in income they clearly do not want.”

This new 'Automatic Enrolment' retirement savings system will be introduced from 2022 to support and encourage personal savings provision. It is intended that employee savings in this scheme will be supported by employer and State contributions.

Under this system, workers will be ‘automatically enrolled’ into a workplace pension scheme with the option to opt-out, should they choose to do so. However, looking at the international experience of similar systems, for example in the UK, once enrolled, workers tend to remain in the scheme.

Automatic enrolment is a natural extension of the payroll process, making more sense for employers to process the majority of these duties within their payroll software. At BrightPay, we have experienced the rollout of auto enrolment in the UK first hand, where we introduced auto enrolment features which enabled users to automate and simplify the entire process.

Thesaurus Payroll Manager will be able to seamlessly cater for Auto Enrolment without any additional costs to the software, and also includes free phone and email support.


BrightPay Payroll Software | Thesaurus Payroll Manager

Posted byRachel HynesinAuto Enrolment


Apr 2018

16

Auto Enrolment: A Roadmap for Pensions Reform

The government has announced major changes to the pensions system in Ireland,
including State, private and public service pensions, which aims to address Ireland’s significant retirement savings gap.

The Taoiseach confirmed that the Government's key goals are to "create a fairer and simpler contributory pension system where a person's pension outcome reflects their social insurance contributions, and in parallel, create a new and necessary culture of personal retirement saving in Ireland".

From 2020, a new State pension system will come into place based on a ‘total contributions approach’ (TCA) where a person’s lifetime contribution will more closely match the benefit they receive. Under TCA, a person's contributory pension will be proportionate to the contributions they make, with fair regard for periods of child rearing, full time caring, and periods in receipt of social protection payments.

Although the State pension will be reformed and will remain at the core of the pensions system in Ireland, a new retirement savings system is still needed to supplement the State pension.

Minister Regina Doherty said: “It is increasingly evident that most Irish workers are not saving enough, or indeed at all, for their retirement years. Many people will be faced with a serious reduction in their living standards when they retire – a fall in income they clearly do not want.”

This new 'Automatic Enrolment' retirement savings system will be introduced from 2022 to support and encourage personal savings provision. It is intended that employee savings in this scheme will be supported by employer and State contributions.

Under this system, workers will be ‘auto enrolled’ into a workplace pension scheme with the option to opt-out, should they choose to do so. However, looking at the international experience of similar systems, for example in the UK, once enrolled workers tend to remain in the scheme.

Automatic enrolment is a natural extension of the payroll process, making more sense for employers to process the majority of these duties within their payroll software. At Thesaurus Payroll Software, we have experienced the rollout of auto enrolment in the UK first hand, where we introduced auto enrolment features which enabled users to automate and simplify the entire process.

Thesaurus Payroll Software costs €149 + VAT per tax year for a single employer licence, and also includes free phone and email support. Before the introduction of auto enrolment, payroll administrators will be faced with even more changes to the payroll process with the introduction of PAYE Modernisation in January 2019. Thesaurus Payroll Software will be able to seamlessly cater for both PAYE Modernisation and Auto Enrolment without any additional costs to the software.

Thesaurus Payroll Software | BrightPay Payroll Software

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Posted byRachel HynesinAuto Enrolment


Nov 2017

2

Auto Enrolment Planned for Ireland by 2021

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the Government will publish a five year roadmap for pension reform before the end of the year. This will include the introduction of an auto-enrolment pension scheme for private sector workers, two-thirds of whom currently have no occupational pension to supplement their state pension. The first payments are expected to be made into new individually held funds by 2021.

He said the government would “work closely and consult with employers” in designing the new scheme. The Minister for Employment & Social Protection Regina Doherty, said that there will be no discrimination in the new auto-enrolment pension scheme proposed by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
“You can’t discriminate somebody that’s earning 20 grand to somebody that’s earning 40 grand,” said Minister Regina Doherty.

“But it’s always going to be based on the percentage, so whatever percentage you put in, the employer will put in a percentage and the State will put in a percentage, and we have to work out the details as to what that percentage will be.”

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Posted byCaoimhe ByrneinAuto Enrolment


Sep 2017

26

New Automatic Enrolment Pension System to be in place by 2021?

With better living standards and expanding economy, it is without doubt that Irish people are now living longer and we have a much healthier society. At the same time, we need to face the fact that with the Irish population inevitably getting older, there is the prospect that senior citizens will have to stay in employment long after they have passed retirement age. It is therefore absolutely vital to address the funding of the Irish pension system now if we want our pensioners to be well-protected in the future.

To tackle this issue, Brian Hayes MEP has called on Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to start work on the introduction of an automatic enrolment pension system, whereby all Irish private sector employees would be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme. As Mr Hayes stated, "a road map needs to be put in place for the introduction of an auto-enrolment system for all Irish businesses. The Cabinet needs to make it a priority to ensure that auto-enrolment is put into Irish Law by 2021. This is something that can be done through cross-party agreement."


In 2012, the UK introduced an automatic enrolment system which is working well and providing long-term sustainability. Automatic enrolment systems have also been introduced in Australia and New Zealand, and similar systems exist in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark. These countries are recognised as world leaders in pensions.


Mr Hayes has suggested that Ireland should create its own system, whereby every employee will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, into which they should contribute at least 1 per cent of their monthly salary, to be matched by their employer.


Mr Hayes also added, “In Ireland we are far too dependent on our state pension system. We have a very low take up of workplace pension schemes. Less than 40% of Irish workers are covered by a workplace pension scheme. The best way to deal with both of these problems is through an auto-enrolment system which reduces dependency on the state system and ensures people have additional pension pots built up.”


A recent global study called the ‘Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index’ has stated that Ireland's pension system is good but has serious sustainability problems into the future. Elsewhere, Mercer's report found that Ireland will increasingly struggle to afford the provision of a guaranteed pension for everyone, if the current pension system isn’t addressed.




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Posted byAlena AmelyanchukinAuto Enrolment


Mar 2017

29

Auto enrolment for Ireland?

The current Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, has, on a number of occasions, mentioned his desire to introduce auto enrolment in Ireland.

This will be a welcome and necessary development as it is unlikely that the current levels of state pension will be sustainable in the medium to long term.

The UK is nearing the end of its auto enrolment roll out and there are, I believe, a number of lessons learnt.

On the face of it, the requirement to enrol an employee into a pension scheme (based on age and earnings), to make deductions/contributions and to allow for opting out, would all appear very straightforward. Not so! Employer guidance extends to many hundreds of pages and the rules are unnecessarily complex.

My first suggestion is to keep it simple. If the minister has his way, auto enrolment may commence around about the same time as Revenue’s Smart PAYE project. This will be a lot to take on board at the one time, particularly if the UK’s auto enrolment rules are anything to go by. Examples of how to make it simpler - link everything to pay date (not pay period) and forego the requirement to apportion.

Next, I would suggest that a common filing standard is adopted at the outset for both enrolments and contributions. This was attempted in the UK, without success. The main problem was the pension companies and their differing systems. Ideally an all encompassing file specification would be mandated and the pension companies would just have to accept. Plus there would need to be common business rules for the various fields in the specification. Lessons learnt here from the SEPA roll out which resulted in similar looking files for the various banks but with very different business rules!

Postponement is a handy feature in the UK system but it does complicate things further. If everything else can be made simple and seamless, then postponement may not be required. Hand in hand with this would be the suggestion that all employees are enrolled no matter what their earnings are and no matter how temporary their employments are for. They would still have the ability to opt out.

Also, the creation of a government backed master trust (similar to NEST in the UK) would further obviate the need for postponement as postponement is generally used to get a pension scheme set up.

In relation to opting out, the opt out window should be linked to the actual pay date of first deduction rather than the auto enrolment date (which itself has many potential definitions) or scheme join date.

Employee communications is another big part of the whole process. The UK communications have evolved and simplified over the last few years and their present format would be fine for Ireland.

Finally, the actual calculation of the pension deduction/contribution should be based on all (taxable) earnings. The UK rules limit the calculation to a portion of the earnings, further increasing its complexity.

The above are my main suggestions and stem from our involvement with the UK system through our UK payroll software, BrightPay, where we have ongoing engagement with employers, accountants, professional bodies, HMRC, the Pensions Regulator, NEST, IFAs and the various pension providers.

Feedback welcome at paul@thesaurus.ie

Posted byPaul ByrneinAuto EnrolmentPayroll Software