Pensions Regulator plans support over auto-enrolment worries

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The Pensions Regulator is to publish a list of group personal pensions open to any employers seeking to comply with their automatic enrolment duties.

TPR believes well-run multi-employer master trusts and GPPs are the best choice for small and micro employers preparing to meet their workplace pension duties. A list of independently reviewed master trusts which are open to all employers is already available on the employers’ section of TPR’s website. Now GPP providers which meet similar criteria are being encouraged to apply to appear on a new list on the website, increasing the choice of well-run schemes available.

Toni Carver of Armstrong Watson Financial Planning said: “We think the recent announcement from The Pensions Regulator that they will put a list of Group Personal Pension on their list of schemes that can be used for Auto Enrolment is a good idea, but it does not solve all the issues that many businesses face when implementing Auto Enrolment.

“We have written recently about the Auto Enrolment challenges many small and micro employers face and choosing a pension scheme is merely one aspect. Selecting a scheme which is right for both the employer’s business and their staff, as well as their legal duties can be a challenge for many firms given the sheer choice available. For employers with existing schemes, providing access to a list of suitable Group Personal Pension options would be beneficial and may save both time and the expense of setting up a new scheme, but who’s to say that the existing scheme is the most suitable to meet with their business requirements?”

Toni said some employers struggled with the operational side of Auto Enrolment, and embedding a new process of deductions and payments for staff and things like opt-ins, opt-outs and staff communications is alien territory for many. “Not all pension providers operate the same systems and many link with different payroll and accounting systems, so it’s important that if a firm decides to choose an existing GPP, that they also assess the impact on their operational processes and seek advice where appropriate,” she added.