More than half (58%) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) surveyed have yet to set up a pension scheme to comply with auto-enrolment legislation, according to research by AutoenrolSME.
The pensions auto-enrolment service, which was developed in partnership with payroll provider Quartz Payroll, conducted research among 200 UK organisations with between 62 and 249 employees.
The research found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents were unaware of when their staging date was and only 42% had set up a pension scheme.
In addition, 90% of respondents that do not have a pension in place, said they have not started researching schemes.
Rosie Smith, marketing manager at AutoenrolSME, said: “It’s clearly a worry that so many UK employers are not ready and are unlikely to meet their legal obligations in providing a pension scheme for their employees.
“This could provide a windfall for the government in terms of penalties, but a headache for those smaller organisations that are not prepared.
“However, despite many panic mongers saying it takes months to get set up, small employers can be up and running with an appropriate scheme in a matter of weeks.”