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Regulator ‘hub’ mooted for auto-enrolment

Small businesses need helping hand for fulfilling obligations, provider says

By Aimee Steen | Published Sep 27, 2012 | comments

An online centre for employers fulfilling auto-enrolment obligations should be developed by the regulator, one provider has said.

Jamie Fiveash, director of customer solutions at B&CE – the firm behind The People’s Pension – said small employers will need a lot more help to meet the impending pension requirements.

“The regulator should give them all a bit of software like HMRC does with the tax return,” he said. “You could answer 10 simple questions, for example, and it would do it all for you.”

Fiveash said the regulations as they stand are long and complex, meaning smaller businesses are likely to struggle with both understanding their obligations and finding the time to ensure they comply.

“It needs to be much more straightforward,” he said.

While auto-enrolment only affects the larger employers at present, by 2018 all employers will have to offer a pension to qualifying employees and there is concern around how those with few employees will manage. The DWP estimates that there will be an additional 4.3m pension savers by 2015.

Claire Walsh, IFA at Pavilion Financial Services, said existing guidance is not good enough. “The statutory information that is out there isn’t helpful enough,” she said. “Implementing a pension scheme isn’t straightforward, you can’t capture it in a paragraph.”

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