Business clinic: Is your software ready for auto enrolment?

One of the many complexities involved with implementing auto enrolment is making sure that your payroll system is ready to handle all the new information.

SynergyBy Ian Thomas, business development manager, Synergy Technology.

You need to ensure, in advance, that your payroll system or processes will be able to support you in your new duties. This includes calculating employer contributions, taking into account individuals with different contribution rates and the different components of pay which the contributions are based on.

Then there are tax relief issues. You need to establish from the pension scheme whether tax relief is to be based on net or gross pay and set up your payroll accordingly.

To find out whether your existing software - or your new software, if you’re about to make a purchase - is up to the job, you should be able to ask questions of your provider. Ask if their systems are able to assess your workforce for inclusion in automatic enrolment, calculate pension contributions, handle opt-ins, opt-outs and refunds, generate and issue letters to staff, keep records and produce reports, and interoperate with some or all pension scheme provider systems.

And if you are selecting new software you should ensure that it is compatible with your existing systems

It’s best to make your enquiries early. We have found that some companies have decided not to address their requirements until their staging date rolls around - but this is far too late to find out that your system won’t process the information you need, or won’t communicate with other systems.

We recognise how complicated this can all seem if you’re not a software professional, which is why we are running free advice clinics to any business that wants to know more. In addition, we supply software that is easy to set up and can ensure that you conform to your legal obligations before you reach your staging date.