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Auto enrolment - Pension Scheme?

Auto enrolment - Pension Scheme?

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The earliest staging date I have for my clients is 1st August 2015 and I am happy with the process with the exception of finding an alternative pension scheme to NEST (just to offer my clients a choice).

However, all the main insurance companies only seem to be interested in clients larger than mine.

Can anyone give me a steer towards pension scheme providers who will be happy to deal with the smaller businesses, say from 10 to 50 employees.


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By rjoconnor81
19th Jan 2015 14:23

People and NOW are the other two providers, but remember if you are not a financial advisor you need to be very careful how you "offer" these schemes to your clients.  You should not be advising them on which one to choose.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By petersaxton
19th Jan 2015 14:37

Not financial advice

rjoconnor81 wrote:

People and NOW are the other two providers, but remember if you are not a financial advisor you need to be very careful how you "offer" these schemes to your clients.  You should not be advising them on which one to choose.

If you state that your use of a pension company is purely down to convenience for your software, rather than an endorsement of that company's investment performance and quality, then you cannot be seen as recommending them and offering "investment advice".”

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By Moonbeam
19th Jan 2015 14:43

It's almost certainly too late

I'm told by my IFA that if you'd wanted one of the bigger firms to run your scheme you should have been talking to them a good year ago. Even then they would probably have said no or charged an arm and a leg to set up a scheme.

These firms have decided that they only want the bigger companies with the higher earners, so small companies are probably going to be stuck with NEST, NOW and Peoples Pension.

So it's actually going to be quite simple for us all from now on.

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By Henry Tapper
19th Jan 2015 15:36

Who will quote?

Capacity among the large insurers is still there.

Standard Life will quote "their good to go" service, L&G should quote and we'd expect Friends Life , Aegon , Scottish Widows and Aviva to quote.

If your client is a charity , in social housing or a third age employer then Smarter Pensions from the pensions Trust is worth a look.

There are a number of smaller master trusts including Blue Sky ,Friendly Pensions, Source, Salvus, Supertrust who all of whom should offer a quote

Some providers have different implementation costs depending on the introducer, for instance the cheapest way to Scottish Widows is via the FSB (if your client is a member).

NEST, NOW and Peoples will quote.

The problem is making sense of all these quotes and establishing which is right for your client. Some perfectly good pensions don't work so well with some perfectly good payrolls (NOW an IRIS for instance)


You need a proper search engine, a rating mechanism and a scorecard that picks up on such granularity.


All this research and the digital guidance to make sense of it is available at





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By Willwo01
19th Jan 2015 19:39

Direct to Aviva

Aviva are open to all sized businesses and will provide you with a quote based on certain company information (e.g. contribution basis, number of employees etc).

You can request a free call back or just give us a ring: Auto-enrolment support for SMEs

Accountants I've spoken to recently are in a similar space to yourself they just want to be able to point clients in to the direction of three or four providers but want to know they can give them a quote.

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By DMGbus
19th Jan 2015 22:42

FSB - "from £399"

I have seen something issued in December 2014 by Federation of Small Businesses stating that they can set up Auto Enrolment with a stated fees "starting at £399". This is FSB partnered up with Scottish Widows.  Presumably this FSB offering is for FSB members only. 

Whichever providor is chosen it seems advisable to choose a providor that specifically is compatible with the payroll software used by the employer - there appears to be mixed interpretation of industry data standards here and some payroll software exported reports may well need time-consuming reformatting before transmitting the data  to the AE pension providor.  Some payroll software even lacks the ability to deal with certain correspondence and reports.

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By Camadon
21st Jan 2015 11:10

Pension advisor

We use a pension adviser who specialises in small business (2 to 100) who would be glad to hear from from you.  His email is [email protected] and his contact number is 07799 620 545.  If you give him a call he will be happy to assist you.

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By Muggle1970
21st Jan 2015 11:47


This whole process can be a complete minefield and you need to tread carefully.


My advice would be to act now as it can take sometime for providers to sign you up, they are under tremendous pressure and struggling to keep up. If your clients haven't made a choice by February then you will struggle to meet the August 1st deadline.

Your client can opt to defer for three months from the 1st August but employees need to be informed well in advance of August that this is the intention, Suggest you use the pension regulator's website for templates as it can save time.

We have around 60 employees of which 45 have stayed in, we use an advisor from A-on (they recently acquired Lorica who we have used for years) and our pension provider is  Aegon, who also provide autoenrolment software (web Based) to handle all of your legislative, eligibility checking, contributions and reporting requirements.

I would direct clients to a Financial Advisor to answer any scheme related queries as they have the knowledge and have the qualifications to do this safely.





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By Bhanu Saunder
21st Jan 2015 11:59

Auto enrolment

I wanted an auto enrolment complaint scheme for a small company as well. I registered our details with I then used their recommendation to come up with a list of pension providers to approach.

The shortlist comprised of NEST, Now Pensions, L&G, Standard Life, Aviva and Scottish Widows. 

Approached them individually and got quotes and went with the best offer.


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By Billy Gibson
21st Jan 2015 12:12

Pension Providers

Be careful who you choose and make sure you understand what work they expect you to complete and what work they will complete.

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21st Jan 2015 21:02



Have spent quite a bit of time looking at this.

The two solutions that seem to come out on top are the FSB, if your client is prepared to do some of the monthly work or AE Express as an end to end service which starts from £15 monthly.




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By Irishdaz
22nd Jan 2015 11:08

Other Options


This is why the IFA world want to work alongside you guys. (some of us are more keen than others of course!)

Not only can we actually advise your clients, but we can usually offer access to the schemes that you think are closed to them. Because we work closely with providers they are a bit more flexible for us, because they understand we are only passing suitable clients after applying regulated advice processes.

I'm encouraged to see that it concerns you that you are not offering the best options. I'm not saying we can always give 100%of the market as a choice, but we can find a scheme that fits their needs and choices regarding Salary Exchange (yes/No/default/use of NI savings) & Contribution choices (7%,8% or 9%), engages well with you and your systems as a payroll provider, and also offers the right pension for the members

Once the exact needs are established, and expected contributions etc. we can normally persuade one of the providers to take them on. Obviously if they leave it too late those providers will be too busy, and may get more inflexible. You mention August 2015 as a Staging date. I can still get a scheme for that sort of client, but would need to start the process in the next 3 to 4 weeks ideally. If you would like to work with us on this feel free to contact me.



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By Auto Enrol the easyway
03rd Dec 2015 02:23

Auto Enrolment

I represent a company that will set up any sized company into the auto enrolment minefield at a very competitive price, the best part is they do most of the work for your accountancy practice which leaves you to get on with your daily tasks . the scheme suits all payroll systems so it is easy to upload the information , and this scheme is backed by Scottish Widows pension fund which you will know is a very good choice. Qualified advisers will give you the facts and figures so you have an informed choice. if you wish to know more, contact  John on 07803902959 or email [email protected]


Regards John

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