By Daniel Hunter

Nearly a third (32%) of companies that signed up with workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions in the first quarter of 2015 signed up six months or more ahead of their staging date.

But despite an encouraging proportion planning ahead, over a quarter (26%) completed their application either very close to their staging date or after the deadline had passed.

Of these employers, 18% contacted NOW: Pensions in the month of their staging date while 8% left it until after their staging date had passed.

Nearly a fifth (16%) took action between one and two months ahead of their staging date, while 12% took action two to three months ahead of staging. A further 14% signed up with NOW: Pensions between three and six months in advance of their auto enrolment deadline.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, commented: “So far this year an encouraging proportion of employers are listening to advice and planning ahead for auto enrolment. But there’s no room for complacency as a significant number are still coming on board late or missing the deadline altogether.

“As smaller and smaller companies reach their staging dates, the number making provider decisions without advice is inevitably going to grow. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has a duty to support these employers, guiding them to a range of high quality, low cost providers that are happy to accept their business.”