Personal Pension  

Now: Pensions targeting small and micro businesses

Now: Pensions targeting small and micro businesses

NOW: Pensions is planning to expand its range of services throughout this year to help support small and micro businesses, as a result of a consultation process which took place in 2015.

The pension provider is now offering a dedicated team and named manager for employers who call its client support team, to help ensure that any issues are resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

It is also offering live online chat with support staff, so that employers and payroll staff can receive real-time support when administering their pension schemes.

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Screen share technology will give Now: Pensions remote access to provide help to employers and payroll teams.

Finally, the firm will run a series of regular live webinars to support small firms and their advisers with all aspects of scheme set-up and ongoing administation.

All these developments come as a result of a consultation it conducted last year, having asked more than 700 small and micro firms and their advisers what they wanted and needed from an auto-enrolment provider.

The firm’s chief executive Morten Nilsson explained that in order to prepare for huge volumes of employers staging this year, it has opened a second office in Nottingham, to which it will be hiring up to 250 newstaff members over the coming two years.

“Many of these roles will be front-line client support and we have already hired nearly 40 people,” said Mr Nilsson. “Unlike many other providers, we will be keeping our doors open for every employer and enhancing our proposition to specifically meet their needs. But to serve the whole market, we will need to charge for our services.”

He stated that from the beginning of this year, Now: Pensions has introduced a monthly employer service charge of £36 for firms that come direct, and £20 or £12.50 for firms supported by payroll bureaux.

Mr Nilsson added: “We are dedicated to this market, excited by the challenge ahead, and confident that we can deliver the right service to make auto-enrolment as pain-free as possible for those employers that join us.”

In November, Nest – the pension scheme established by the government – pledged it would not join the People’s Pension and Now: Pensions in adding an AE charge for employers.

Nest executive director of product and marketing Gavin Perera-Betts said: “We have no plans to introduce a charge for employers to use Nest, and it will continue to be a low-cost scheme for members.”

To learn more about automatic enrolment, and earn CPD, click here.

ruth.gillbe@ft.com