Where have April stagers gone?


Will auto-enrolment flower or blow up?

NEST and other providers say the expected flow of April stagers has failed to materialise, raising concerns of widespread flouting of the law by employers.

Now Standard Life is calling on the Regulator to explain Where have all the stagers gone?

Poor old Pete Seeger! I bet he never thought that 50 years after asking where the flowers went, he’d be misquoted for compliance purposes!

Poor old Pension Regulator! It seems that they’re about as successful as tracking down the stagers that went missing in April as the Malaysian Government in finding flight MH370.

Do you know what?

This is what RTI was invented for?

Do you know what?

The Pensions Regulator isn’t allowed access to the RTI!

Whether this is about data protection or simply part of an ongoing feud between DWP and Treasury, tPR have no early warning system to gauge how big a problem they have- let alone know which companies to chase! No RTI- no comment!

Some of us are concerned about this. The CIPP have recently set up an industry Forum (AccountingWeb have been in the van). Those of us in “The Friends of AE”, the snappy title of this Forum, have been pondering how to create an early warning system to protect employers from the consequences of their (in)actions!

We have a pretty simple answer but for it to work, we need some pressure to be applied to Pension Providers. Our plan involves creating a big spreadsheet with two fields;

Field one; the PAYE reference number of the companies staging from April 2014 onwards

Field two; the provider’s claim on that reference number (e.g.- who is providing who)

That way, the Regulator can see the number of unprovided employers – have some proper MI to their paymasters and a game plan to target the companies most at risk of totally messing up.

I run a website www.pensionplaypen.com with lines in to all the current providers (and a few who’ve given up); we’ve proposed to help co-ordinate the providers and encourage them that it’s in their interests to release information at book level. Some of our IT friends are building the robust database.

So this is where we need some help! 

Warn your clients that though they may think that they’ve postponed the decision to make auto-enrolment contributions, they are legally obliged to follow the staging rules from the point that postponement commences- not the point it ends!

If we all pull together on this, we might be able to head the problem off before we get a crisis, if we assume the Government have the information to act, we may be sleep-walking into a systemic failure.

This post was first published in http://www.pensionplaypen.com

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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