Top tips on finding the perfect SME auto enrolment pension provider

When it comes to finding the perfect workplace pensions provider, it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.

After all, finding the right pension scheme is a big decision which will have long lasting consequences for your employees so shouldn’t be taken lightly. Get it right and it will also take a big burden off your shoulders, too.

So what should you look for if you’re choosing a partner to help you through auto enrolment?

Choosing the perfect SME auto enrolment pension provider

Do your research

Check out the auto enrolment providers’ history. How is their scheme governed? Who is looking after the interests of your workers? Choosing a scheme that has been independently reviewed, such as those bearing the Pension Quality Mark and the Master Trust Assurance Framework are clear indicators that the provider is meeting good standards of scheme governance and administration. An independent board of experienced professionals who are solely dedicated to looking after savers’ interests is also absolutely vital.

Check they are compatible with your business

Not every provider will be the right match for you – so don’t be disheartened. Some pension providers will only be willing to pair up with large employers. It’s worth checking this early on in the conversation – you don’t want to waste your time. If you have an existing pension scheme that you are thinking about extending to cover auto enrolment, you also need to check that it’s auto enrolment compliant.

How much support do they offer?

If you are new to pensions you may need a little more help than if you are a seasoned pro! Be sure to ask your potential partner how much help they offer and how much they charge.

Some providers will charge employers a one-off set up cost, while others will charge a lower monthly fee, some won’t charge at all but may not offer much hands on support. Think about how much help you’ll need with auto enrolment and which model works best for your business.

What are the charges for members?

It’s important to analyse how much your employees will pay for their pension as this can have a big impact on their savings over the long term. Compare and contrast providers’ investment and administration charges to make sure they are offering good value. Also be sure to check what’s charged when members stop contributing. Also check about any charges for transferring funds.

Can they communicate?

Some providers will handle all the communications with your staff while others will provide templates for you to send yourself. Think about what works best for you and how much administration you want to take on yourself. Also check that the communications are clear and easy to understand.

Understand and accept your own responsibilities

No matter how fancy the systems may be, or how easy the provider promises to make it, if you don’t take responsibility for your auto enrolment administration it will inevitably cause problems down the line. Spending a little time up front making sure you get things right is going to save you a lot of time and hassle.

If you find you are struggling in choosing the right pension provider for you, then you could employ the help of a financial adviser or accountant who can help point you in the right direction.

For further information on a quick and easy sign up process, please follow our simple checklist here to ensure that you have everything you need.

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