October 2017 Update

Workplace Pensions – Minimum Contributions

It is important to note that the minimum contributions for workplace pensions are set to rise from April 2018, with the minimum amount now being 5% (minimum of 2% from the employer). We suggest that all clients review their pension scheme contributions or speak to their scheme administrator for more assistance. Failure to comply with the minimum contributions can lead to further action being taken by The Pensions Regulator, so it will be important to make sure that the correct contributions are taken. If you have any doubts about your duties as an employer regarding Workplace Pensions, please contact us.

 

Workplace Pensions – Duties for New Employers

If you start as a new employer and your first employee(s) start with you on or after 1st October 2017, you will have a duty to comply with the Workplace Pensions regulations from day 1. This applies, even if your staff are being paid below the Lower Earnings Limit and you are not registering for PAYE with HM Revenue and Customs. This means that you should set up a pension scheme as an employer right away and make sure that the correct correspondence goes out to your employees. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in stiff penalties and/or prosecution, so please ensure that you know your duties and comply with them. If you have any doubts about your duties as an employer regarding Workplace Pensions, please contact us.

 

Paying HMRC – Changes to acceptable payment methods.

It is important to note that from 13th January 2018, HMRC will no longer be accepting payments made from personal credit cards. HMRC is only allowed to accept credit card payments on the basis that there is no cost to the public purse, and the EU Payment Services Directive 2, which comes into effect on this date, prohibits merchants (including HMRC) from recharging associated fees back to customers. Corporate, business and commercial credit cards are not affected by this change and HMRC will continue to accept personal and commercial debit cards. Taxpayers will continue to have alternative payment options including:

  • Direct Debit
  • Faster Payment
  • BACs
  • Debit card
  • CHAPs

 

It is also important to note that if you use the Transcash service at the Post Office to pay HMRC you need to be aware that this service is being withdrawn from 15 December 2017 and you will need to find a different way of submitting payments to them. Could you change over to an electronic payment method? We are encouraging all clients to pay using the following methods:

  • Direct Debit
  • Online or telephone banking, which includes Faster Payments, BACs and CHAPS
  • Debit card online or by telephone

 

If you have any questions about this change, please contact us.