SMEs turn to accountants for help with auto enrolment

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For immediate release: Wednesday 7 May 2014

New research*, from workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions reveals that four in ten (44%) small and medium sized companies haven’t given any thought to how they’ll go about finding a pension scheme to comply with the new auto enrolment legislation. But, a significant proportion, (14%) intend to get help from their accountant.

Of the 450 small and medium sized firms surveyed 5% are going to consult an IFA, 4% are going to search the market and do the research themselves. Only 2% have already made a decision and secured a scheme.

Over a fifth (22%) intend to use their existing pension provider for auto enrolment. This comes despite growing concern that some providers will not support smaller employers’ auto enrolment needs.

Despite a large proportion of SMEs admitting they are yet to think about their pension scheme, over half (57%) of firms surveyed think that their choice of pension provider is either important (33%) or very important (24%). Only 8% think it is unimportant.

Four in ten (40%) believe offering a good quality pension scheme will help with employee retention and nearly a third (32%) think it will help to improve the attractiveness of their company to potential employees.

Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions continues: “As auto enrolment gathers pace, accountants will play a key role in guiding small and medium sized companies through the complexities of the legislation. For those accountants that manage payroll, auto enrolment is unavoidable so getting to grips with it sooner rather than later is a must.”

Stephen Milne Chair of the CIMA Members in Practice Panel said: “With over 10,000 employers auto enrolling each month, support for SMEs is inevitably in short supply. Accountants are ideally placed to provide much needed help with the process from scheme selection to assessment and implementation.”  

Through Business Accountant, a service provided by CIMA Members in Practice, companies facing auto enrolment can book a local CIMA Member in Practice by calling: 023 8064 3763.

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For further information:

Amy Mankelow
NOW: Pensions
Tel: 07941 105879
amy@nowpensions.com

Victoria Leyton
Lansons Communications
Tel: +44 207 294 3620
nowpensions@lansons.com

Notes for editors:

*Research undertaken by BDRC Continental, an award-winning insight agency. Questions were put to 450 UK SMEs (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.

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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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
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
NOW: Pensions has a good technical infrastructure combined with a pension product suitable for our team. We couldn’t be happier with NOW: Pensions. — Martin Woods, SALT.agency