Sage 50 Payroll adds auto enrolment features

Sage has upgraded its latest edition of Sage 50 Payroll to cater for the demands of automatic enrolment. Robert Lovell takes a closer look to see what the new version has to offer.

More and more employers are getting to grips with the new legal duties that require them to automatically staff up for qualifying pension schemes.

With an impending “capacity crunch” for small business staging over the next two to three years...


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Castroggi's picture

auto enrolment features

Castroggi | | Permalink


having read this I'm still not clear on what 'The Pension Centre' does beyond standard payroll functionality, save for a report on employee eligibility.

Is this yet more money for old rope?

Regards, Paul

The big problem, as I see it -

tom123 | | Permalink

I don't have a problem assessing my workforce - of the 28 employees I have, three are not in the pension - but would all need to be under AE.

The missing link for me in AE is that no payroll software can 'upload' someone into the pension scheme with my pension provider.

I still need to involve - and pay - our IFA to do this.

I have no plans to pay further charges to Sage to tell me what I already know.


I would like to use Moneysoft, but that is a whole different matter in my firm..

Moonbeam's picture

Sage's Autoenrolment module

Moonbeam | | Permalink

The article implies that somehow this module has just found its way onto the marketplace. I can only describe it as an advertorial.

The Sage AE module was introduced, with much fanfare around December 2013. It was full of bugs and  badly written software and not fit for purpose. As one of the purchasers of this truly awful product, I have spent hours of my time trying to get to find out what Sage meant it to do, trying to get it to do that and having to do things manually because of the errors, and bugs.  That's in addition to having to do lots of things manually that I had assumed it would do, such as tom123 describes.

As for the Sage helpline, the people I managed to speak to in early 2014 were more hopeless than helpful. It's now impossible to speak to anyone on the payroll helpline and for those with this module, that's maybe no bad thing.

Ah yes, I forgot - I was assured by Sage that they would sort out these problems. They have sorted some things out. The csv report meant for download each month to the pensions website now shows pensionable rather than gross pay. Why wasn't this right first time around?

The csv report still can't be downloaded to the Nest site because there are not enough query fields to be filled in prior to download, so I am still having to manually download. Apparently Sage couldn't be bothered to check this out.

The 16 year old in charge of the programming for the module does not seem to have been replaced. We now have several issues around year end changes, with people previously opted out, now triumphantly opted back in by the program.

In short, if you are going to purchase this module, prepare to spend a large part of the month manually calculating pension deductions in case of bugs, and manually adjusting Sage reports prior to downloading to the particular pensions website. Watch all pensions deductions like a hawk, as things you thought were sorted last month may suddenly come back to haunt you.

And ask your doctor to monitor your blood pressure. Sage won't care if you keel over under the strain, but your nearest and dearest might.

henrytapper's picture

Can middleware compete?

henrytapper | | Permalink

I spoke with an IFA yesterday who has used staffcare for 70 clients (the Jargon Free Pensions version). 

He is winding up his work as he cannot see any point competing with Sage or Iris whose packages he considers superior in risk management and considerably cheaper.


Does anyone else have experience of advisers accepting that their middleware is no longer superior?


I have to admire the integrity of the adviser and suspect he's doing the right things by his clients.