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Compulsory pension provision for all business
1 November 2010
Compulsory pension provision for all business
Between 2012 and 2016 the Government will phase in a new pension scheme - the " National Employment Savings Trust " (NEST) which will require all businesses to contribute towards the pensions of those staff who are paying into a fund . The changes mean that most employees will have to opt out of a pension rather than opt in, as the current arrangements require.
Employers must re-enrol jobholders who choose to opt out at least every three years
NEST will be phased in over four years , starting from 2012 for the very largest employers (those with more than 120,000 staff). If you have fewer than 50 staff, the date you will need to start paying will depend on your employer's PAYE code . It could be as early as March 2014 or as late as February 2016, by which time all existing businesses and staff must be contributing.
All jobholders aged at least 22 years old who have not yet reached State Pension age and are earning more than £7,475 qualify to be automatically enrolled into their employer's workplace pension. If the employee does not want a pension arrangement, he/she must opt out of it.
Those aged between 16 and 22 and those aged between State Pension Age and 75 (provided they earn more than £7,475) will be able to opt into a pension and receive employer contributions. Employees earning below £7,475 a year may opt in, however the employer will not be required to make a contribution, but may choose to do so
An employer will be required to contribute at least 3% against band earnings when the scheme is fully implemented - band earnings are between £5,745 and £33,540 (These figures are expected to be updated with impending legislation)
It will be possible to gain an exemption from NEST if you offer a pension scheme that meets the following criteria:
∙ The scheme permits auto-enrolment
∙ Has a minimum contribution rate of 8%
(including at least 3% from the company)
∙ Has a default investment fund
Under current legislation, employees cannot be auto-enrolled into a group personal pension or group stakeholder pension scheme. But this will be amended by 2012.
Enrolment into the scheme will be staged between October 2012 and February 2016.
Large employers will be brought in first, followed by medium and then small firms. New businesses that are set-up between April 2012 and March 2016 will be brought in at the end of the staging period.
Any employer choosing to bring forward their automatic enrolment date must inform the Pensions Regulator of their intention to do so and be in a position to demonstrate they are ready to discharge their new duties.
Employers will be given three months' grace to enrol their staff in either their own scheme - with compulsory minimum employer contributions - or enrol them in Nest instead. This is intended to cover the use of temporary staff.
The minimum contribution level will be phased-in. For Defined Contribution schemes, the minimum contribution requirements are:
Phase Duration Employer minimum contribution Total minimum contribution
1 1 Oct 2012 to 30 Sep 2016 1% 2%
2 1 Oct 2016 to 30 Sep 2017 2% 5%
3 1 October 2017 onwards 3% 8%
Department for Work & Pensions
Staging dates - THIS TELLS YOU WHEN THE SCHEME AFFECTS YOUR COMPANY
National Employment Savings Trust
New BFM / Satra Partnership
1 October 2010
New BFM / SATRA partnership
The BFM is delighted to announce a partnership with SATRA which will see BFM members receiving free technical advice and a discount on other SATRA services such as testing, troubleshooting and training.
BFM offer a wide range of services to its member companies which cover; Health & Safety, Environment, Employment & Personnel, Exports, Business support, Legal Advice, Commodity Price Data, Preferential Purchasing, National Advertising, Marketing and Sales Leads
For more information, please contact:
Adam Mason Jacque Glasspool
BFM Limited Satra Technology Centre
Tel: 01494 523 021 Tel: 01536 410 000
CRC registration requirement
1 September 2010
CRC registration requirement
by end of September 2010
The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) is a new, mandatory, energy saving and carbon emissions reduction scheme for the UK.
If you qualify under the scheme, you must inform the Environment Agency by using the registry portal and this must not be done later than 30th September 2010.
Large qualifying users - with annual energy bills in the region of £500,000 - will have to become fully fledged participants in the scheme and that is unlikely to capture any BFM member. However, any company which has a electricity meter that measures energy usage half-hourly will also need to register through disclosing this information. There are no fees involved for the smaller users.
If an information disclosure is not made by 30th September 2010 the fine can be £500 per half hourly meter. The qualifying year is 2008.
For a guide to whether a disclosure needs to be made see Do I qualify and see the registry page :
if you have at least one electricity meter measuring electricity half hourly and 'settled' (see below for definition of 'settled' but effectively it means a company with an energy demand above 100KW) in the qualification year 2008 you are required to disclose this to the environment agency. All you need to do is provide a list of the half hourly meters for which you are responsible and the identification number of those meters
If your total half hourly metered electricity consumption during 2008 was at least 3,000MWh (Mega Watt hours), you will also need to provide a figure for the total amount of those half hourly meter supplies and consumption
If you used at least 6,000MWh of half-hourly electricity during 2008 you must register as a participant in the Scheme which involves producing Footprint and Annual Reports and holding and surrendering sufficient allowances to cover the energy use emissions included in the scheme. CRC participants pay a number of fees including an annual subscription and face very heavy fines for not registering and for following the Scheme's requirements.
How do I tell if my site has half hourly metering?
For the purpose of determining the scheme qualification, the definition of "half hourly metering" includes all meters that monitor electricity consumption on a half hourly basis. To this end, half hourly metering will include voluntary automatic meters that produce half hourly data. The definition will also include pseudo half hourly meters (irrespective of whether or not they are settled on the non-half hourly market)
Have a look at the MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) on your energy bills. This will follow the format below:
The figure in the top left is the profile type, with "00" indicating half hourly metering in use.
CPS expands product range
1 August 2010
CPS expands product range
Cps is expanding its product range even further into the upholstery and bedding Industry.
As well as Cps Labels and Cps Fibres, a new division has been set up to sell contract sewing, wooden kits and corvin into the industry under the Cps Plus Name.
With its South Wales Based Sewing operation being brought on board, Cps can cover unrivalled prices for top cover upholstery and memory foam covers and half caps.
Its wood division has already won large contracts within the bedding industry, supplying kits and futon bases.
Cps Plus is also offering "standard" off the shelf kits for smaller end manufacturers.
Its corvin and spunbond operation covers everything from 15gram spundbond to 90gram corvin, as well as 50gram for the pillow industry.
They are all stock items for 48 Hour delivery.
Phil Bowen, Business Strategy Manager for the group said "CPS has a very good reputation within the industry for quality and service, and sees the new company fitting in well within the CPS structure and offering a cost effective new range."
Furniture manufacturing industry still facing difficult road ahead
1 July 2010
Furniture manufacturing industry still facing a difficult road ahead
Source - BFM State of Trade Survey and annual Financial Ratios Survey - June 2010
State of trade survey - The industry is no more optimistic about the general business situation than it was at the beginning of the year, with the volume of output in the 4 months to June falling slightly on balance and fewer companies exporting now than at any time in the last two years, despite a favourable currency. 50% of companies expect to implement short time working as we go though the summer.
Financial ratios survey - It would appear that sales have decreased from their level in June 2009 and that companies have been better able of late to control overheads. And, even though there has been an increase in material costs, this is unlikely to account for the large rise in the direct labour/material costs ratio shown in the survey. The suggestion is that companies are holding on to more staff than they need to meet the volume of sales produced, despite measures to reduce direct labour costs through short time working and lay off, as well as pay freezes. Perhaps, however, it has got to a stage where industry feels that direct costs need to be addressed again as the state of trade survey shows that nearly 1/3 rd intend to make redundancies in the coming months. While Â¾ of the industry was returning some profit, Â¼ of the sample reported either making a loss or being at a breakeven position.
Ratios used in the survey:
Direct labour and materials as % of sales
Total overheads as % of sales
Distribution costs as % of sales
Net profit as % of sales
Furniture retailer Collingwood uses "Ask if it is" campaign
1 May 2010
Department store and furniture retailer Collingwood Batchellor has partnered with the British Furniture Manufacturers association (BFM) and their campaign to promote British furniture.
The family run business with a department store in Horley and furniture showrooms in Horsham, Haslemere and Haywards Heath are using the 'Ask If It Is Great British Furniture' campaign, co-ordinated by the BFM to promote the British furniture throughout their stores.
Collingwood Batchellor's director Guy Collingwood:
"The idea behind the campaign is to show our customers just how many of our furniture ranges are sourced from so many quality British manufacturers, particularly at a time when supporting our industry is so important."
"Our top British suppliers have joined together with us to offer our customers some really outstanding deals."
The campaign, which features in full colour advertisements in all the major newspapers has been a hit with consumers since its launch in January 2008.
BFM's Commercial Director, Adam Mason confirmed:
"The British furniture industry is a significant one that directly employs some 125,000 people within 7,500 enterprises and supports and is supported by a vast supply chain. The campaign is designed to inform consumers as to what products are manufactured in Britain as we believe it is a consideration when making such an important purchase."
"We are delighted to support Collingwood Batchellor in their campaign and would urge consumers to visit their stores and talk to their staff about Great British furniture."
For further information about Collingwood Batchellor, please visit www.collingwoodstores.co.uk
For further information about the Ask If It Is campaign, please visit www.greatbritishfurniture.co.uk
BFM and Quilters of Ruislip "Great British Furniture Store"
1 March 2010
The BFM and Quilters of Ruislip joined forces in November 2009 to launch the UK's first 'Great British Furniture Store'. The shop-front was adorned with banners and supported in-store with 'Ask If It Is' and 'Great British Furniture' logos highlighting furniture from the campaign members, as part of an initial 6 week campaign. The campaign proved so successful in sales that it was extended to the end of February 2010 and is now to be extended still further.
John Quilter has analysed sales from November 2009 to February 2010 and is pleased to share them with you.
Click here to view
New BFM commodity pricing service
1 February 2010
New BFM furniture commodity pricing service
The BFM is pleased to announce the launch of a new service for member companies that will help with purchasing decisions and negotiations with suppliers. The BFM has subscribed to a price data service with trends graphically displayed for over 90 commodities in Sterling and (mainly) Euros to show how fluctuations in currency can also impact on price.
For each of the commodities covered price trends are shown up to the present time. In most cases the benchmark date begins in July 2008, although in some cases where prices have remained fairly flat for a period of time, we have taken the start date back a few more years to give a better idea of trends.
The commodities were chosen in a pilot exercise by BFM members as representing significant purchases to them as furniture manufacturers.
Price data on 90 items is available in the following areas:Abrasives, Board, Container rates, Energy, Fibres, Foam chemicals, Leather, Logs, Metals/wire, Packaging, Timber/wood, Waste
Mark Wilkinson honoured with OBE
1 January 2010
Mark Wilkinson honoured with an OBE
Mark Wilkinson has been honoured with an OBE for services to the Furniture Industry and to Charity in the New Years Honours List 2010.
BFM office move imminent
1 August 1900
This is to notify everyone of our new address and contact details, the office facilities & the benefits it offers to BFM and its members.