24 October 2013
- New Lorica technology, Littleblue, first to engage employees with online hub, plus streamline the auto-enrolment process for SMEs to meet auto-enrolment without advisory support
- Both Master Trust and GPP pension options available to suit employer requirements
- Littleblue designed by AE advisers for employers with 5-250 employees but can be used by smaller and larger ones
A pension Master Trust arrangement has been added as an option to the first self-serve, integrated auto-enrolment and pension solution that guides employees through retirement savings. Littleblue was launched last week by Lorica Employee Benefits. The new master trust arrangement, in partnership with NOW: Pensions, means employers have more choice depending on their needs.
Littleblue is the first combined out-of-the-box system and pension solution which both engages employees and streamlines the auto-enrolment process for SMEs so they don’t need adviser support. It now has both a GPP and Master Trust option for employers to choose from. Auto-enrolment obligations come into force for all companies by 2018 and 20,000 SMEs need to complete the process before July next year.
“Independent commentators say there is not enough advisory capacity to meet demand,” said James Biggs, director of corporate pensions at Lorica Employee Benefits. “Littleblue is the first off the shelf technology and pension product that supports SMEs through auto-enrolment so they meet their legal duties, as well as support employees in making wiser retirement saving choices.
A Master Trust is a single trust arrangement used by many employers, often ideal for smaller employers.
“Many will choose a master trust for cost savings and simpler governance. For us, it means we never have to say no to a client that needs a solution in order to comply with the new pension regulations. It is clear that the larger pension providers will be setting entry levels and timescales that may leave employers without a solution. NOW: Pensions is geared up to act swiftly and accurately when the spike in demand happens.”
Littleblue has been designed specifically to suit employers of 5-250 staff, but can be used by larger and smaller companies. It provides employers with an onboarding platform, auto-enrolment hub, online benefits portal, employee communications and opt-in and opt-out functionality to ensure it can be managed in an efficient and compliant way.
Lorica then offers other options to support employers, including governance support, reporting functionality and financial education seminars for employees.
Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “Lorica is a consultancy well-known for its in-depth market expertise and rigour. We are delighted to have been selected as the only master trust on Littleblue and look forward to supporting Lorica’s SME clients through the complexities of auto enrolment. NOW: Pensions has currently signed over 400 employers with more joining us every month. But, as auto enrolment gathers pace, the opportunity that exists in the market is vast and partnering with Lorica will help ensure that even more UK SMEs can benefit from the NOW: Pensions high quality, low cost approach to pensions.”
Previous auto-enrolment online solutions haven’t knitted the process together and all have required extra advisory support; Littleblue is the first to engage employees and streamline the process for SME employers so they are compliant with the complex rules. The single-sign-on employee hub allows individuals to better understand pension provider information, consider their retirement options and compare their contributions next to their peers.
Next year, tens of thousands of employers’ statutory duty will be switched on, called staging, according to The Pensions Regulator<http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/press/pn13-37.aspx>. Within 5 years, 1.3 million employers will have automatically enrolled around 9 million workers into a work-based pension scheme. Not to do so properly could incur punitive fines for the employer.
For a fixed fee starting at £6,000 per annum, depending on company requirements, the proposition overcomes a number of compliance hurdles found in both the auto-enrolment process and establishment of a qualifying pension scheme. It handles all carefully worded statutory employee communications, including enrolment letters, right to opt-in and join letters, information to existing or qualifying pension schemes and letters from the pension provider. It handles opt-outs, leavers and new hires, as well as holds and manages all records required.
Littleblue is also available with a ready-made group personal pension scheme from Scottish Widows with fixed annual management charges (AMC) based on the average contributions of the company’s employees in 2018.
Littleblue is associated with Lorica’s Bigblue, which brings together its flexible benefits, voluntary benefits, online benefits dashboard, pension and auto-enrolment modules into one system, with single sign on and links to relevant benefit providers. It also includes a ground-breaking Money module, described by one market expert as a seismic change, as it brings together, virtually for the first time, traditional banking and workplace rewards, something never achieved before. Several large employers are already working with Lorica to incorporate the technology for their staff.
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About Lorica Employee Benefits
Lorica is a market-leading employee benefits provider and consultancy. It offers bespoke advice and expert support in six core areas: corporate pensions (workplace savings and actuarial); flexible benefits; benefits and reward consulting; wealth management; employee financial education; and health, risk and wellbeing. Lorica’s objective is to enable clients to quantify and improve upon the investment they make in their most important asset – their employees.
NOW: Pensions www.nowpensions.com @NowPensions
NOW: Pensions is a multi-employer trust. The investments are managed by NOW: Pensions Investments, a subsidiary of ATP inDenmark, and the administration is carried out by Paymaster, an establishedUKthird party administrator.
The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members, comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:
- Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister
- Imelda Walsh, former Group HR Director of Sainsbury’s
- John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
- Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
- Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors
NOW: Pensions is committed to developing a better workplace pension provision in theUKby offering a simple, high quality, cost efficient and systematically risk managed pension product that delivers better retirement savings forUKemployees. With over 45 years’ experience providingDenmark’s working population with stable and consistent pensions returns, NOW: Pensions is set to transfer the knowledge acquired inDenmarkto theUKpension market. Charges are just £1.50 per month administration charge (reduced administration charge of £0.30 – £1.00 to be applied during auto enrolment phasing for lower earners) plus a 0.3% annual product investment management charge, with no hidden charges.
In April 2013, NOW: Pensions became the first master trust to attain the NAPF’s new PQM Ready Standard. The benchmark shows employers that NOW: Pensions is a well governed pension scheme with low charges and good member communications.
The ATP Group www.atp.dk
Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension (ATP) / Danish Labour Market Supplementary Pension is a statutory pension fund. It was established as an independent entity in 1964 with the objective of ensuring a greater retirement income for the Danish population. ATP has since developed to become one of the largest pension funds in Europe and the largest pension fund in Denmark. Together with the tax-financed basic state pension, ATP provides basic income security in old age for the Danish population.
ATP covers almost the entire Danish population representing 4.8 million members and 160,000 employers. In addition to the ATP Scheme, the ATP Group administers a number of pension and social insurance schemes, including several for the Danish state.
The ATP Group total assets under management amounted to DKK 602bn/approximately GBP 67.5bn at 30 June 2013. ATP invests in a wide variety of assets globally. Investment categories are broadly: equities, interest rates, credit, inflation and commodities.
For media information or interviews contact:
Amy Mankelow, NOW: Pensions, email@example.com or phone 0203 640 9075