Bakery firms are being encouraged to start planning to protect themselves from a pensions ‘bouncer’.

It follows the government announcement that every UK company will have to offer a pension scheme from 2012, meaning that even small firms will have to auto-enrol employees earning more than £7,500, and then make contributions.

Mace & Jones head of employment law Martin Edwards said: “Failure to prepare will be like a batsman caught off-guard by an unexpected bouncer. The changes will carry significant costs and firms will need to factor this cost into financial planning. There will also be additional and time-consuming red tape to comply with.”

Edwards urged companies to not sweep the pensions reform under the carpet. “All firms need the time to prepare themselves and their employees and put financial planning and HR planning in place,” he said. “It is important to take professional advice.”