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Dugdale Nutrition Ltd, based in Clitheroe, is a family run business that has focused on innovation and customer service in the ruminant feed sector for over 160 years.
Located in the heart of Northern England, Dugdales is one of the UK’s leading regional ruminant feed manufacturers, supplying directly to hundreds of dairy, beef and sheep farms.
The business had a long-running, established group personal pension scheme, already in place, for over 60 staff when they received their auto enrolment staging date from the pensions’ regulator. Due to this pre–existing scheme and the level of pension administration within the organisation, the team were confident they would meet the minimum contribution requirements needed for auto enrolment. However, after speaking to local auto enrolment specialists Taylor Patterson, they soon found out that staging was not going to be as straightforward as they initially hoped.
Having been clients of Taylor Patterson for many years, Dugdale Nutrition Ltd utilised their expert advice and guidance to understand their position, and with a staging date of 1st July 2014, set to work reviewing their information and payroll process in July 2013.
Michael Townend, Finance Director, said “by starting our review 12 months ahead, we thought we had given ourselves plenty of time. Even as 2013 moved into late autumn, we considered that 7 to 8 months would be enough time to be fully prepared, but I don’t think you fully appreciate the amount of work needed until you start this process and then take on board all the compliance elements involved with it.”
The advisers at Taylor Patterson worked closely with the management team at Dugdale Nutrition Ltd to guide them through the regulator’s complex literature and to ensure that they were correctly registered and compliant. As part of the service, they reviewed and analysed the employee data being collected, coupled with a communication plan that was drafted and implemented, informing all staff of the future changes, as part of the auto enrolment process.
Craig Hugo, Auto Enrolment adviser at Taylor Patterson explains, “by working closely with the payroll team at Dugdale Nutrition Ltd we were able to ensure the existing pension scheme was fit for purpose. We liaised with the incumbent pension provider who went in and explained to the team how their systems worked in relation to auto enrolment, and how Dugdales could make the best use of their services.”
Michael continues, “gradually, all the jigsaw pieces began to fit into place. After the testing of the payroll and pension procedures and systems had taken place in May 2014, we went live with the June payroll to find, quite satisfyingly, that our auto enrolment compliance was perfectly in order and that we had successfully satisfied the requirements in time for our staging on 1st July. We had 100% uptake from staff choosing to enrol in the pension scheme, and knowing we are helping people secure their future, is a fantastic feeling.
With the assistance of Taylor Patterson, we have continued to meet the ongoing needs of Auto Enrolment and our sincere thanks go to Craig Hugo and Nick Howarth at Taylor Patterson for their guidance, assistance and advice throughout our journey.”