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Direct Payments Support Service Employer Bulletin

January 2016

The purpose of the monthly bulletin is to provide you with general information around your employer responsibilities but will change from time to time as and when legislation does so it is important that you read it each month. We are here to help, so if you have any queries please contact us.

Auto Enrolment is here!

We have been advising employers to expect a letter from The Pensions Regulator for some time and to forward the letter to us if you would like our support. If you have received a letter from The Pensions Regulator it is important that you take action as soon as you receive the letter and do not ignore it, even if your pa’s have already told you that they do not want a pension with you there are still legal procedures that you need to carry out.

If you would like our support then please forward the letter on to us as soon as possible, we need the letter as it has a unique code that we need to use to register you with The Pensions Regulator. If you are unsure about whether you have sent your letter to us then please give us a call and we will check for you.

Over half of Direct Payment users will be staging this year, (the staging date is the date the law comes into effect for you) and the rest by October 2017, so you should have received at least one letter from The Pensions Regulator by now. If you are unsure, please contact us.

Darlington Borough Council have agreed that you can pay for our support out of your Direct payment contingency. If for any reason you do not have a contingency we can support you to speak to your social worker.
Our support options are:-

Option 1

We will:

• Find out your staging date - this is when the law comes into effect for you.
• Screen your workforce, including calculate employee’s average earnings to work out their entitlement.
• Support you to understand Auto Enrolment by telephone or on a one to one basis.
• Draw up letters on your behalf to send to your PA’s to ensure that you meet your legal responsibilities.
• Register you with NEST which is the workplace pension set up by the government specifically for Auto Enrolment and is free for employers. We will support you to set up a Direct Debit arrangement with them where necessary.
• Help you to budget your hourly rate to allow for Auto Enrolment
• Register as your point of contact with The Pensions Regulator and complete a declaration of compliance - this is a legal requirement and has to be done by a certain date or you may face a fine.

There will be a one-off cost of £100 which will include the above and stationery and printing costs involved in the process.

Option 2

If you do not want our support with the above but would want information on how to undertake the process yourself, the cost will be £20 per hour which is the usual annual maintenance charge. We would ask that you sign a form to confirm that you do not want our support and that you will be undertaking your legal requirements as detailed above.

Option 3

If you would prefer to deal with Auto Enrolment yourself, we strongly advise that you visit The Pensions Regulator’s website so that you are fully aware of your legal responsibilities as failure to register and comply with the procedures will lead to penalties by The Pensions Regulator.