Case study | Small committee-run preschool

We have many different sectors using our auto enrolment services, one of those is a small committee-run preschool with ten employees. Recently one of their trustees shared their auto enrolment experience with us, here is what they said:

Describe your company’s journey towards auto enrolment compliance – what did you find easy and/or difficult?

We are a very small group of trustees running a pre-school. There was a great deal of advice available about auto enrolment, much of it very complex with obscure terminology. As our staging date approached, many others were obviously in the same state of concern as we were.

Childcare is a low-paid industry regrettably, with demand fluctuating throughout the year and consequent staff turn-over. We needed a scheme that was simple and flexible.

Phone contact was difficult initially because of the demand at that time but it was possible to set up the scheme online.

During your search for the perfect workplace pension provider, what were the main criteria that you wished the solution to cover in order to ensure your business needs were catered for?

We needed a flexible scheme. Childcare is a low-wage sector and staff move about quite a lot. We needed a scheme which would allow staff to transfer contributions in from another scheme and out to another scheme. We were presented by an accountant with options of NEST, People’s Pension and NOW: Pensions. We chose NOW: as you appeared to be most flexible and your reputation was sound.

Describe the solution that you’re provided with by NOW: Pensions, what it is, how it works?

We have a contract with a payroll provider to calculate our wages and tax. They also provide our pension calculations and upload the information to NOW: Pensions. Initially our payroll provider found it challenging to administrate a new scheme, but was helped by the NOW: Pensions team to understand the process. Two direct debits were set up; one is for employer service charges, the other for contributions. We receive monthly statements which detail the charges.

During implementation of the solution, what problems developed and how did NOW: Pensions help you to resolve these problems?

There was some initial confusion over communications for employees because our payroll provider was accustomed to a different scheme and the trustees were novices in this area. This was resolved by NOW: Pensions allowing us to amend a mistake in the original application. Staff now receive communications directly from NOW: Pensions. Recently the company has also sent out information to help us understand the terms and systems used in Direct Debit collection. Statements make clear the date to which a collection relate – something that was initially confusing… Client support is readily available.

What are the three words that would describe your experience when dealing with NOW: Pensions?

Efficient. Reliable. Helpful.

Outline the specific results and benefits the client achieved by implementing the solution:

We are able to find a flexible scheme to meet our legal obligations as an employer in a sector of the economy which sees much movement of staff as numbers of children in our care fluctuate from year to year, even month to month.

And finally, would you recommend the NOW: Pensions’ solution to your peers?

Yes for its flexibility.

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