Employers who pass their assigned staging date to commence the automatic enrolment process need to be aware that their responsibilities do not end once they have finished automatically enrolling their employees.
The regulatory body (the Pension’s Regulator http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/) has a very specific mandate from central government to encourage employers to have an ongoing involvement and a visible engagement process after their automatic enrolment process has completed.
One specific arm of this mandate is the declaration of compliance process (DOC). The DOC is a method by which the employer confirms that the scheme that it operates is fully compliant with the standards set out by the Pensions Regulatory body. Employers are required to complete this every three years, in tandem with their re-enrolment of those employees who were not automatically enrolled at the assigned date.
After the assigned date, there is a very small window for the employer to complete their DOC using the Pensions Regulator’s website and if the DOC is not completed in this time, then the regulatory body has jurisdiction to levy fines on defaulting employers.
An important part of this process is to educate employers as to the ongoing role of the Pensions Regulator, beyond the role that it plays in the run up to automatic enrolment. The DOC remains an employer’s responsibility but it is the responsibility of every financial advisor to ensure that the employer is aware of what is required as part of this process and their ongoing role within it.
Corporate Pensions Administrator