DESPITE increased awareness of their pension auto enrolment staging dates, many firms continue to underestimate the time needed to ensure they have suitable provision in place, according to the latest research by national business group the Forum of Private Business.

The findings from its latest member survey into the cost of compliance reveal that, while 90 per cent were aware of deadlines for them to have schemes in place, over half have still to start taking any of the necessary steps required to be ready for auto enrolment.

Ian Cass, head of business support at the Forum said: “The findings show that our members are ahead of the game when it comes to auto enrolment.

“It is great news that the overwhelming majority are aware of their staging dates and obligations thanks to high profile awareness campaigns and regular member updates.

“However, awareness and action are two separate things.

“The question of whether small firms will be able to have their schemes up and running in time and at a reasonable cost remains a serious concern.”