Advisers booked ahead of auto-enrolment rush

The head of workplace strategy at Standard Life said advisers are anticipating “huge demand” for their service mid-2014, when the first batch of staging dates kicks in for medium-sized businesses.

He said they are requesting corporate clients to reserve slots for a fee to avoid disappointment.

Mr Jenkins said: “Advisers have to book slots ahead of time because they now understand how much time it will take to help each individual client, and the more experienced advisers in the corporate sector will be inundated with requests for advice.

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“They do not want either themselves or the client to breach rules if they have not prepared sufficiently.”

Mr Jenkins’ comments come as research shows that only 23 per cent of employees plan to opt out of their auto-enrolment pension scheme, or have already done this.

The survey, carried out by data management provider EDM Group, also found that only 11 per cent of employees say it is “very likely” that they will opt out once contributions start to rise.

Almost half, 48 per cent, of respondents plan to stay in their pension while 29 per cent are ‘unsure’.

Statistics from the department for work and pensions, released in a consultation document in July, showed that 30,000 of medium-sized companies will join auto-enrolment in mid-2014.

Adviser comment

Chris Daems, director of Principal Financial Solutions, said: “We have started booking slots for a fee just so we can effectively manage our firm’s time and give clients the necessary space to complete this process. The success of auto-enrolment within firms will be down to effective project management, and that means careful time planning.”