After three years of auto-enrolment, it’s time to take stock

 

TONY MARCH, payroll manager here at Waltons Clark Whitehill, reminds us that many companies are facing three-yearly reviews of their auto-enrolment process.  It’s time to think seriously about providers and also re-engage with your staff.

"Most businesses have become used to the idea of pension auto-enrolment now, but it’s important to remember it’s an ongoing process.  After three years of operating the scheme, it’s essential that you undertake a review.

We’d tend to write to our clients about four months prior to the date, reminding them of the window in which they have to take action, which is the period three months either side of the anniversary of the auto-enrolment process being set up.

There are two issues that you really need to address.

The first is to look at your employees again and decide whether any of their circumstances have changed. People who had previously opted out on financial grounds, for example, may now be in a position to opt in. It’s certainly an opportunity for all your staff to reflect once again on their financial planning and focus on the importance of making provision for their retirement.

If you’re receiving support with payroll and pensions from an external supplier, you can make a judgement of whether the service is good value for money.

The second question is whether you may want to change provider. This seems like a big decision, but it’s an important one, as you may feel that the pension scheme is being subjected to a higher management charge than is comfortable. Employer contributions are set to increase over time, so everyone is inevitably going to become preoccupied with costs.

While it’s not going to be possible for your accountant to recommend a provider, it’s certainly worth talking through your scheme in general terms and forming an opinion about the correct approach for your particular business."

If you would like to discuss any of the points mentioned with Tony, he can be contacted by telephone on 01429 234414 or by email tony.march@waltonscw.co.uk 

Tony March