PensionsDec 3 2015

Government’s cuddly campaign is too soft

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Government’s cuddly campaign is too soft

Pension experts have warned that staff shortages and the consequences of a soft government campaign are their biggest fears for SME auto-enrolment in 2016.

At a capacity conference hosted by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals, speakers warned that the government’s current Workie campaign was too soft and did not hit home the key message to comply with legislation and the consequences of not doing so.

Andy Agathangelou, founding chair of the CIPP’s friends of auto-enrolment, said: “The next stage of AE is fast approaching and there is widespread concern that the campaign is far too soft and vague.

“Where is the sense of urgency and call to action? It is clear that this style of advertising does not suit the target market of small business owners.”

According to pension and payroll delegates, many businesses are in dire need of additional skilled staff to cope with the extra work connected to auto-enrolment, and have highlighted the difficulties of recruiting qualified staff.

From 2016, the number of businesses reaching their staging date is predicted to go up 10-fold as the auto-enrolment process moves onto smaller businesses.

Henry Tapper, founder of Pension PlayPen, said “The pensions industry is going through some changes right now – changes we cannot ignore.

“Our job is to help guide businesses and make sure we maintain confidence within the pensions sector.

“Conferences like this act as a communication forum and allow us to voice our concerns and offer solutions.”