Workplace pensions. What springs to mind when you read that? For one RN reader who contacted us recently, it’s confusion.

“I know the law on pensions is changing, I don’t know if or how that applies to me and I don’t know what to do about it. Please help,” he said.

Perhaps the Pensions Regulator had somehow been listening in on that conversation. Somewhat uncannily, its press office emailed me a few days later, asking “Do your readers understand about automatic enrolment? Do they know they need to act now and do they need any advice?”

Researching the issue with them and accounting experts TAS Accounting for RN’s guide to pensions, I unearthed some advice that is worth bearing in mind for this and any other new legislation.

Act now

Admittedly, automatic enrolment won’t kick in for most small employers before summer 2015 at the earliest, but the timing of this phone call and email prove that pensions are already firmly on people’s minds. Smart retailers will do their research, get to grips with the new law, get their records in order and get the assistance they need in good time. When new legislation appears on the horizon, do your homework on it early.

Beat the crowds

You might have a while before a new law applies to you but you can’t afford to linger at the back of the advice queue

TAS Accounting warned me that the smaller firms they work with are in danger of missing out on support because the companies that might help them are already prioritising big firms that offer big profit potential. More worryingly, they said, no retailers had yet been in touch with them. You might have a while before a new law applies to you but you can’t afford to linger at the back of the advice queue.

If you need help, ask for it

I asked another retailer last week if he’d looked into pensions recently. His answer serves as a final piece of advice. “It’s funny you should mention that,” he replied. “I know the law is changing, I don’t really understand it so I’m meeting my accountant tomorrow to discuss it. I need to get on top of this, now.”

For more advice on workplace pensions or to
read RN’s guide, email chris.rolfe@newtrade.co.uk