Pensions regime poses difficulty in horticulture

Automatic pensions enrolment is proving an issue for those in the horticulture industry.

Calculator: business tool for employers and employees - image: The Pensions Regulator
Calculator: business tool for employers and employees - image: The Pensions Regulator

Consultant Doug Stewart called the new pension regime, alongside the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) at £7.20 an hour on 1 April, a "double whammy" for businesses.

Stewart said garden centres he is working with are having to raise prices rather than absorb the costs of the NLW, with a figure of 10 per cent mentioned. Stewart's retail and landscaping clients, if they have not owned a business for fewer than seven years, have been given staging dates to introduce employee contributions to staff pensions. Businesses have to write to staff to offer them the scheme.

The new law means that every employer must automatically enrol workers into a workplace pension scheme if they are aged between 22 and state pension age, earn more than £10,000 a year or work in the UK. This is called 'automatic enrolment'.

People are encouraged to use the Pensions Regulator staging date calculator ( to check whether the new law applies to them and when they will be enrolled. The calculator is for employers but also works for employees.

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