Capacity crunch ‘very real’, Tait tells conference

Speaking today at a Personal Touch Financial Services conference in Birmingham, the business development manager for Scottish Life said advisers and employers needed to “act now” to ensure advisers and providers had the capacity to arrange auto-enrolment schemes. She said those who left it too late would be forced to resort to Nest.

She said: “Not all advisers will be involved in auto-enrolment, so the number of firms in need of advice against the actual number of available advisers could actually be much higher.

“The capacity crunch is very real. Advisers need to get in early and start talking to businesses between 12 to 18 months before their staging dates.

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“Those staging next May with between 80 and 160 employes, who haven’t already sought advice and secured a provider will struggle.”

Some 12,000 firms will have staging dates in May 2014, rising to 90,000 a month by the end of 2017.

Ms Tait added: “Many of these firms will go to Nest, but those who want to look at other options need to act now.”

She warned there was simply not enough capacity to help every employer.

Adviser View:

Jackie Fancourt, director of Cambridgeshire-based Jay Financial, said: “I recently put out a scheme to the whole of market, and only one branded household provider would offer terms. Furthermore, I want to find a clean contract where there are no admin fees and employees can understand a flat percentage charge. The problem is that if I go for what is essentially a national pension scheme, I question whether that would be good for consumers.”