HR on 'frontline' of auto-enrolment complaints

HR on 'frontline' of auto-enrolment complaints

Human resource departments face increasing queries from employees concerns about company pension schemes and auto-enrolment, research from employee benefits consultancy Portus shows.

An online survey of 103 British HR professionals in January found one in three had seen an increase in complaints in the past two years while 28 per cent had seen increased enquiries.

This rise in engagement is raising concern about regulatory or compliance issues say 35 per cent of the survey.

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Portus Consulting's commercial director, Steve Watson, said the figures showed how much HR departments were being put on the frontline of the UK’s retirement savings crisis and were playing a major role in helping to deliver workplace auto-enrolment.

"There is a price for success, unfortunately," he said. "And that is a rise in complaints and concern about pension scheme performance from employees which could lead to major problems with compliance and regulatory issues.”

Alongside the employer research, Portus also commissioned a survey of 1,043 UK employees in January that recorded 19 per cent of staff saying they have contacted their employer over the past two years about pension scheme issues with 4 per cent saying they had complained about the performance of their savings.

Employees are generally supportive of the guidance on retirement planning they receive through work, with 48 per cent saying the services provided by employers are effective with just 15 per cent branding them disappointing.

Portus is using these figures to help promote its employer-paid Moneygym guidance service for employees. This online service provides retirement planning guidance including tax and regulation as well as enabling users to track retirement savings including private and State pensions and other investments including property.

Employees can enter and update monthly expenses as well as property ownership or rental costs, debts or savings, and health data including exercise, smoking and alcohol intake. Life expectancy is calculated using the death data run against mortality tables.