Compulsory Pension Schemes for employers …

Small businesses are to be given flexibility over the introduction of the government’s new compulsory workplace pension scheme.The scheme is to be known as the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), a change from the original Personal Accounts, and is aimed at employees aged over 22, earning between £5,035 and £33,540 and who do not have an occupational pension scheme.The scheme is to commence in October 2012 when the largest businesses – those employing 120,000 staff or more – will begin enrolling workers.However, smaller firms will join the scheme on a phased basis over the next three years. Start-up businesses formed from 2012 won’t be required to implement a NEST fund until 2016. Auto-enrolment is expected to be fully introduced by 2017.Employer contributions will also be implemented on a staggered schedule. Employers will be required to contribute a minimum of 1 per cent of an employee’s gross salary to the fund as from 2012. That will rise to 2 per cent from 2016 before reaching 3 per cent in October 2017.

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