Majority of smaller firms getting on board early for auto enrolment

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For immediate release: Tuesday 14 April 2015

Of the companies that signed up with workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions in the first quarter of 2015, nearly a third (32%) signed up six months or more ahead of their staging date.

But, despite an encouraging proportion planning ahead, over a quarter (26%) completed their application either very close to their staging date or after the deadline had passed.

Of these employers, 18% contacted NOW: Pensions in the month of their staging date while 8% left it until after their staging date had passed.

Nearly a fifth (16%) took action between one and two months ahead of their staging date, while 12% took action two to three months ahead of staging. A further 14% signed up with NOW: Pensions between three and six months in advance of their auto enrolment deadline.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions said: “So far this year an encouraging proportion of employers are listening to advice and planning ahead for auto enrolment. But, there’s no room for complacency as a significant number are still coming on board late or missing the deadline altogether.”  

Research* NOW: Pensions recently conducted with firms yet to stage revealed over a quarter (27%) haven’t given any thought to how they’ll go about finding a pension provider, down from 44% in 2014**. One in ten (12%) are going to search the market and do the research themselves, up from just 4% of firms surveyed in 2014.

Morten Nilsson continued: “As smaller and smaller companies reach their staging dates, the number making provider decisions without advice is inevitably going to grow. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has a duty to support these employers, guiding them to a range of high quality, low cost providers that are happy to accept their business.”

For employers that have missed their staging date, NOW: Pensions has put together a simple five step guide to help them get back on track www.nowpensions.com/have-you-missed-your-staging-date

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For further information:

Amy Mankelow
NOW: Pensions
Tel: 020 3640 9075
amy.mankelow@nowpensions.com

Valentina Kristensen
Lansons Communications
Tel: +44 207 566 9720
nowpensions@lansons.com

Notes to editors

* Research undertaken by BDRC Continental, an award-winning insight agency. Questions were put to 400 UK SMEs (up to and including 250 employees) via BDRC Continental’s monthly Business Opinion Omnibus. 269 of those interviewed are yet to stage. Telephone-based interviews with a nationally representative sample of senior financial decision makers across the UK, weighted by size, region and sector. Fieldwork dates 2nd to 12th March 2015.

**Research undertaken by BDRC Continental, an award-winning insight agency. Questions were put to 450 UK SMEs who are yet to stage (up to and including 250 employees) via BDRC Continental’s monthly Business Opinion Omnibus. Telephone-based interviews with a nationally representative sample of senior financial decision makers across the UK, weighted by size, region and sector. Fieldwork dates 3rd to 13th March 2014.

NOW: Pensions www.nowpensions.com @nowpensions

NOW: Pensions is an independent, multi-employer trust serving thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of employees from a wide range of sectors.

A subsidiary of one of Europe’s largest pension funds, Danish pension scheme ATP, NOW: Pensions offers a simple and cost effective workplace pension solution direct to employers and via advisers and the payroll sector.

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.

In January 2015, NOW: Pensions achieved independent assurance of scheme quality in accordance with the new master trust assurance framework AAF02/07 introduced by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The NOW: Pension Trustee Directors, whose role is to safeguard the interests of members, comprises well-known industry figures with different areas of expertise:

  • Jocelyn Blackwell, founding partner Dunnett Shaw
  • Christopher Daykin, former Government Actuary
  • John Monks, member of House of Lords and former General Secretary of ETUC and TUC
  • Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income at Barclays Global Investors
  • Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister

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.

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I've known ATP for many years and have enormous respect for the effectiveness of their investment strategy. I'm convinced that NOW: Pensions can become a major player in the UK and look forward to being a part of that success. — Chris Daykin, the former Government Actuary
There is a need for a member-centric solution designed for ease of use with low costs and cutting edge investment strategy, which delivers long term stable returns. ATP's in-house investment capabilities, combined with our novel and innovative… — Lars Rohde, Governor of the National Bank of Denmark and Former CEO of ATP Group
NOW: Pensions was attractive to us because the staff were very helpful and they sent over all the information required. This made the decision easy. — Metro Surveillance Group Ltd
Our broker recommended NOW: Pensions, as they believed it would be our best option. We have not been disappointed, the NOW: Pensions customer support teams are great and always available. — Bromborough Paint & Building Supplies Ltd
I am backing NOW: Pensions, the ATP project, because I believe it will encourage transparency, low costs and decent returns for millions of British employees. — Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister