Less than a quarter (24%) of respondents due to comply with pensions auto-enrolment in 2014 feel they have had enough information from the government, according to research by Creative Auto Enrolment.
Its survey, which questioned 505 employers with between 20 and 250 employees, found that 25% have received minimal communication from the government, while 24% have hardly heard anything about auto-enrolment.
More than a third (36%) of respondents cited an overall lack of understanding as the biggest barrier to complying with auto-enrolment, while 30% cited lack of resources and 25% time.
More than half (52%) of respondents estimated that preparing for their staging date has taken, or will take, more than ten weeks in terms of the man hours needed.
David White (pictured), managing director of Creative Auto Enrolment, said: “This is serious business. Employers face fines and legal investigations if they get auto-enrolment wrong, and The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has threatened that employers need to do the right thing or it will come after them.
“However, everything we are hearing tells us that many are mishandling the process because they are ill-informed. It’s unfair to hand out penalties to organisations that have not received adequate information and guidance in order to prepare for auto-enrolment.
“Our research is clear: the government’s communications are not getting through to those that need it most.
“It is good news that TPR is committing time and resource to the employers and advisers that need it most, but these figures suggest a nationwide issue that needs addressing fast.”