Today small business will face the Government’s new auto-enrolment pension rules.

Originally rolled out in 2012, only large companies were affected, but from today small companies (those with fewer than 30 employees) will be required to enrol all qualifying UK staff into a pension scheme, and pay contributions to it.

The scheme has been praised, because it provides staff extra incentives without increasing wages. However, the complexity of extending the auto-enrolment pension scheme to thousands of small businesses has been criticised for increasing red tape, rather than the Government’s promise to reduce regulation.

“Small business owners are not pension experts and a significant number will not have any staff saving into an existing workplace pension scheme. These businesses require a clear and simple process, and readily available impartial advice and support,” said Federation of Small Businesses national chairman John Allan.

“Compliance with auto-enrolment must be low cost and entail minimal administrative burden. We still remain concerned that this won’t be the case for many small employers, and that many will face additional administrative as well as payroll costs.”

Retailers seeking to find out when their staging date is and what they need to do to comply with auto-enrolment can do so on the Pensions Regulator’s website