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19145Businesses from across the Tees Valley have been invited to meet a representative of the Pensions Regulator, to learn more about auto-enrolment in workplace pensions, which will affect thousands of local companies this year.

Auto-enrolment comes from new Government rules, which require all employers, regardless of size, to provide a workplace pension scheme. It was rolled out in larger companies first, and has now been extended to firms employing 50 people or fewer. Each employer has a staging date, when they must have their pension scheme in place, and five months later a declaration date, when they must submit a declaration stating how they have complied.

At the free event, hosted by Hartlepool based Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers Waltons Clark Whitehill, businesses will be able to learn more about auto-enrolment, including their responsibilities as employers, and will have a chance to put any questions they have to the regulator. Members of the Waltons Clark Whitehill team and pensions experts from Wise Financial Consulting will also be on hand to provide help and advice.

Heather O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Waltons Clark Whitehill, said: “Getting ready for auto-enrolment should be the number one priority for every employer that hasn’t done so already. Even if you employ just one person the same rules apply.

“Between 100,000 and 200,000 businesses will have their staging date in each quarter of this year, so companies going to their accountants or pensions advisers at the last minute might find themselves unable to meet their staging deadline, and face a fine.

“This free event gives businesses the chance to learn more about auto-enrolment, including what’s required from them. They will be able to put any questions they have to the Pensions Regulator, and the experts from Waltons Clark Whitehill and Wise Financial.

Business people wishing to attend the event, held at Waltons Clark Whitehill’s offices on Hartlepool Marina on Thursday May 12th, at 09:30, must register online via bit.do/wcwpensions. For more information, contact Shirley Blackwood on 01429 234414 or shirley.blackwood@waltonscw.co.uk.

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