CLUB LAW AND MANAGEMENT
Pension Auto Enrolment: What Clubs Need To Know
To encourage more people to set aside money for retirement, the Government is introducing automatic workplace pensions for eligible workers. Under rules introduced in October 2012, employers are required to automatically enrol all eligible staff into a workplace pension scheme and pay a minimum contribution into the pension fund. For the majority of our Clubs the requirement to implement these new pension requirements will fall between June 2015 and July 2017. We are therefore providing initial information now and will continue to provide information and advice over the forthcoming months.
Individual Clubs will need to establish their specific start dates and this information can be obtained from the website of the Pension Regulator. The Club will then need to assess whichemployees will be affected by the changes, check the Club’s payroll software and choose a pension provider. The ACC is currently
assessing if we are able to either recommend a specific firm to our Member Clubs or create an ACC specific pension scheme which ACC Clubs can opt into. Due to specific pension and financial legislation, the ACC is restricted from providing what could be construed as financial advice. We will, however, inform Clubs through the magazine if we are able to either recommend a pensions supplier or set up a specific ACC pension scheme which Clubs can use.
Once the Club has chosen its pension provider it will be important to communicate with eligible employees regarding the pension changes, then register with the pension regulator and finally enrol the eligible employees. The changes will likely have financial implications and Clubs should plan for the additional cost of contributions and administration.
The regulations require Clubs to sort your employees into the following groups:
- Eligible jobholders – aged 22 to state pension age and earning over £10,000.
- Non-eligible jobholders – 16 to 21 and from state pension age to 74 earning above £10,000. Or 16 to 74 earning above £5,772 up to £10,000.
- Entitled workers – Aged 16 to 74 earning below £5,772.
Eligible jobholders must be automatically enrolled; noneligible jobholders do not have to be automatically enrolled but have the option of opting in; entitled workers do not have to be automatically enrolled but they
must be able to elect to opt in although no employer contributions will need to be made.
Clubs will have to ensure that their existing administration and payroll software can accommodate auto enrolment; payroll packages supplied by smaller firms may not be compliant. The HMRC free PAYE software is unlikely to be able to perform any auto enrolment functions at all other than handling deductions through the payroll so Clubs may need to move to a commercial system before their implementation date.
Employers are required by law to write to all workers (except those under 16 and over 75) explaining what auto enrolment into a workplace pension scheme means for them.
Employee contributions are payable between the lower threshold of £5,772 and the higher threshold of £41,865. Rates will be increased over time: -
Employers cannot avoid their obligation to auto enrol eligible jobholders into a qualifying scheme, but employees will be able to opt out after being enrolled. Opting out can only occur after an employer has selected a pension scheme and the first months contributions have been made.
If an employee then wishes to opt-out they must notify the Club using a document called an ‘optout notice’. Employers cannot use their own opt-out notices. Opt out notices can only be obtained by pension providers or their agents. Any opt out notices received must be kept until a re-enrolment event, which usually occurs every three years. Opt out rates have been lower than expected and for the larger employers have averaged less than 10%.
Clubs will be able to postpone opting in an employee for a period of up to three months. It is envisaged that postponement will be used:-
- When dealing with temporary staff
- For new joiners to reduce payroll and communication administration.
- Clubs can also postpone from the commencement date, however, it does not change the Club’s commencement date.
Clubs must write to tell the staff whose automatic enrolment you are postponing, you will have six weeks from the date postponement starts to write to them.
The Pension Regulator holds the position of the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK and is responsible for monitoring the introduction of auto enrolment. To date their role has largely been one of educating and training. However, they can issue penalty notices to punish persistent and deliberate non-compliance. Employers who deliberately and wilfully fail to comply with their duties may be prosecuted. All employers will need to confirm compliance with the regulations with the Pension Regulator five months after their staging date. Jeffs & Rowe Accountants have assisted us with this article. Jeffs & Rowe are a Wales based accountancy firm and can be contacted on 01443 402116. This article provides only a brief introduction to auto-enrolment we recommend further research is undertaken from www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk.
Underage Sales Prevention
As a consequence of the legislation changes which came into effect on the 1st October 2014, Clubs should review their employee training regarding identifying and preventing underage alcohol sales. Licensing Officers will expect that employees are provided refresher training every six months and that there is a written record available that this training has taken place.
After training, employees should be able to list the most common age-restricted products (alcohol and tobacco being the main ones) and identify the procedure which should be followed to check the age of a suspected underage customer. Typical schemes which are used are ‘think 21’ or ‘think 25’ which ask employees to request identification for anyone who looks younger than those ages.
A Club employee should be able to recognise appropriate forms of ID and should try to discern between real ID and fake ID although we accept in practice that this can be challenging.
It is important that the Club is able to prove that it has a policy in place preventing underage sales so every time an employee receives a refresher course this should be documented so that it can be proved that the training was provided to the employee. Most Clubs will be able to undertake this training in house although Inn-Dispensable offers a three hour course for £50. Martin Read from Inn-Dispensable can be contacted on 07831 512162.
Money Security Advice
To minimise the risk of theft, there is some straightforward and simple advice that Clubs should try to follow. The most effective course of action is, of course, to minimise the amount of cash you keep on the premises. Make frequent pickups of money from tills and make regular bank deposits - employees in charge of making bank deposits should always be alert for strangers lingering at the bank. If in doubt, do not make the deposit while a suspicious person is in the area. Ensure that any money in transit to the bank or elsewhere is accompanied by the relevant number of able-bodied persons as required by the Club’s insurance policy.
Ensure that a good quality safe is installed and that it is fireproof, securely anchored and kept in plain view. The combination should be changed when an employee who has had access leaves and it is good practice to vary the combination periodically in any event. The keys to the safe should be removed from the premises outside of business hours or placed within a locked safe or strong room – the keys to which are themselves removed from the business premises. Access to the safe should be restricted to as few persons as possible.
The Club should have a clear policy regarding cashing up and any discrepancies must be investigated. Employees responsible for cashing up should indicate how much has been taken from the tills to the safe
and should sign to confirm this. If there are any doubts or concerns regarding money going missing then each time money is transferred to the Club’s safe it should be placed into a new security envelope and the envelope then sealed. Written on the envelope should be the amount of money inside and the signature of the person who placed the money into the envelope. If a monetary or stock loss is occurring, it is important to have mechanisms in place to identify when and where the loss has occurred. To assist this procedure, regular stocktakes should take place and random one off stocktakes should occasionally be implemented. If the Club is responsible for emptying the Club’s Gaming Machines then at least two persons should be present during this procedure.
The best way to reduce theft is to have proper procedures in place which will prevent the temptation of any person to steal from the Club. Opportunity is the primary reason why a theft may occur. Reduce opportunity to reduce theft.
Club Insure – One Year of Being a Recommended ACC Supplier
One year on and still going strong is our relationship with Club Insure. Club Insure are the preferred insurance broker for the ACC. Club Insure assist over 2000 Clubs throughout the UK.
Club Insure was appointed as our recommended broker in 2013. We have been impressed with Club Insure’s award winning service, comprehensive cover and competitive prices. They provide face to face reviews, dedicated Account and Claims Handlers and tailor made bespoke policies to suit individual Club requirements.
As experts in their field, Club Insure demonstrate understanding and authority in all insurance matters, including electrical requirements, health &safety issues, under-insurance and claim prevention. Over the course of the year they have offered advice to club officials seeking independent information on renovations, multiuse venues and one-off events.
One year ago we wrote to all ACC members voicing our confidence in appointing Club Insure and we are pleased to once again renew this recommendation. Club Insure can be contacted on 0844 488 9204.
We have been informed that Camdon have been contacting Private Members Clubs. For the avoidance of doubt, Camdon are not an ACC Recommended Supplier and we have not given Camdon permission to contact our Member Clubs. Any Club who has entered into an agreement with Camdon is welcome to contact the ACC to discuss the situation.