Personal Pension  

Launch pad: Auto-enrolment

Daniel Liberto

Friends Life has updated its auto-enrolment proposition with a free-of-charge staging service tailored specifically for smaller companies set to enter the market this year.

The insurer said its new proposition will enable newly staged firms to choose the AE service that best suits their requirements – from a basic qualifying scheme to a fully outsourced service – without paying for initial enrolment into the scheme.

Whereas the basic service comes with no charge, companies interested in acquiring additional support services will be expected to pay either a one-off staging fee of £1,000, with an ongoing charge per member each month, or a discounted upfront fee.

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Friends Life said it was keen to offer greater flexibility, choice and service options for companies less equipped to deal with the demands of AE.

Colin Williams, managing director of corporate benefits at Friends Life, said: “The profile of companies staging during 2014 is very different from before.

“We understand that not all companies will have the ability to pay for advice and may need support on topics such as compliance, legislation and technology.”

IFA verdict

Roy McLoughlin, senior partner at Master Adviser, London: “It looks good, but the feedback we are getting is that this will not work in isolation as people still want advice. Insurers are misjudging the public’s appetite for advice.”