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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-03-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Local business owners urged to act now to avoid pensions penalty nightmare

AS over 750,000 employers face new responsibilities this year to contribute to their staff pension pots, small business owners across Southport are being urged to act now to avoid hefty fines and potential prosecution. Andrew Geddes who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Southport said:- "A record number of businesses reach their so called 'staging date' this year for the new workplace pension scheme. Local business owners will have received their date from the Pensions Regulator and must automatically enrol eligible employees and contribute to their pension pot. We've been advising local businesses since the pension changes were 1st introduced 5 years ago and many business owners have planned well in advance, but 2017 will see the new rules come into effect for many more local businesses, as 750,000 UK employers reach their staging date. Business owners whose staging date was in 2014, will also need to automatically re-enrol certain staff and complete a re-declaration of compliance this year. We're urging local business owners who haven't yet put a scheme in place for their staff, to do so soon to beat the inevitable rush and avoid hefty penalties. Pension providers are likely to be overwhelmed with enquiries and many will not cater for the small business market. Business owners who fail to provide a qualifying pension scheme could face a £400 fixed penalty from the Pensions Regulator, escalating to daily fines set at a minimum of £50 per day, with the possibility of civil penalties and Court action."


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