By Marcus Leach

Confirmation that the Government’s auto-enrolment pension scheme has been pushed back for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has been welcomed by the Forum of Private Business.

Firms employing between 30 and 49 staff will not now have to enrol staff until August 1, 2015 at the earliest.

Those businesses with fewer than 30 staff will not have will to comply until January 1, 2016, at the very earliest, but as late as April 2017.

“We welcome the Government’s clarification on the dates for auto-enrolment," the Forum’s Chief Executive, Phil Orford, said.

“This temporary delay will allow small firms to now focus fully on running their business until the economy is back in firmer territory.

“We believe this will also allow small business the extra time to plan for and subsequently implement the scheme successfully.”

The level of pension contributions will also be phased in over time to help employers and individuals adjust. Full contributions will not have to be paid until October 1, 2018.

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