Share this content
12

Auto enrolment scheme provider problem

Smart Pensions to start charging £10+VAT a month for employer schemes making no contributions

Didn't find your answer?

Hello, I received an e-mail yesterday from Smart Pensions asking me to complete a questionnaire and telling me that they would be making a £10+VAT a month administration charge for employer schemes where no members are enrolled in the scheme. I contacted them and asked them to confirm that this charge would not apply where an employee had been enrolled but had opted out. In their eventual reply they said (in very poor English) that it might and if I completed their questionnaire they would tell me. The questionnaire makes no mention of the situation where an employee has been enrolled but opted out, but does require me to agree to the charge. So it does appear they are going to charge.

I have six employer schemes with them where all employees have opted out, mainly for spouses where the admin costs of operating AE are greater than the potential benefit from the modest contributions that would be due.

I am aware that NEST offer employer schemes without charge, but in the past I found them very difficult to deal with which is why I moved to Smart in the first place, and I am not keen to go back!

Are there any other provider that offer schemes for employers without charge? The other option would be to reduce pay so there are no eligible workers but that could result in wasted personal allowances so maybe not ideal.

Any thoughts as to how best to approach this would be appreciated.

Replies (12)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By oldiegoldy
29th Nov 2019 11:54

I was to going post the same, you beat me to it :)

I have setup a few scheme for my clients where majority of them are active but 5 of the smaller clients have 2-3 employees who have opted out so it will be considered a shell account? costing £120 a year..
Incase anyone is wondering these are the options to choose from...

Select from the following: *
=> I am using another pension provider and do not wish to use Smart Pension. I understand that you will delete all data relating to us in accordance with GDPR guidelines.
=> I want to continue to use Smart Pension and I have people I need to automatically enrol. Please contact me on the number below.
=> I understand that if I have no active members I will be charged a monthly fee of £10 + VAT for maintaining a shell account.
=> I do not require a pension provider and therefore do not wish to use Smart Pension. I understand that you will delete all data relating to us in accordance with GDPR guidelines.

Thanks (0)
Replying to oldiegoldy:
avatar
By BIGWAL
29th Nov 2019 22:13

Look at True Potential.
No charges to agent or employer and charges on employees contributions are much lower - a considerable benefit when pensions are finally taken.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By SXGuy
29th Nov 2019 12:04

I find NEST quite easy to deal with and very helpful if you have an issue so unsure why you found them hard if I'm honest but each to their own.

Thanks (0)
Replying to SXGuy:
avatar
By oldiegoldy
29th Nov 2019 12:19

Its difficult process to opt-out for the employees on NEST comparing with SmartPension thats why I prefer Smart Pension. But I guess it is time to move to NEST as MoneySoft I use have NEST Built-in.

Thanks (0)
Replying to oldiegoldy:
RLI
By lionofludesch
29th Nov 2019 12:35

Interesting.

I've only ever had two employees of clients opt out and neither opted out a second time.

Couple of points.

1. Employees' problems opting out are not your problem.

2. One of the above-mentioned employees managed to opt out prior to his next weekly payday. I was quite impressed with this.

3. I found NEST quite tedious at first but, to be fair, I have the same problem with any new software. Now I've found my way around it, it's grand.

4. Why don't you play Smart at their own game and make an employer's contribution of £0.01 if they want to make a charge for opted out employees ?

Thanks (4)
Replying to lionofludesch:
avatar
By Payrollgal
29th Nov 2019 13:45

Step 4 - Genious!

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Payrollgal
29th Nov 2019 12:29

I would ordinarily recommend NEST but if they aren't your cup of tea, what about Peoples Pension?

Thanks (0)
Replying to Payrollgal:
avatar
By Kernowlive
29th Nov 2019 12:46

Peoples Pension are expensive for a small low income employer.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Kernowlive:
avatar
By Payrollgal
29th Nov 2019 13:53

Yes, true actually. I had forgotten about their set up fee.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By oldiegoldy
02nd Dec 2019 23:25

Received this from SmartPension when I have told them I will be using NEST instead of SmartPension and move all my clients. I have asked for an explicit term to be added to clarify the situation i.e what if! all the employees opted out, will you still be charging the employer £12 a month? The SmartPension adviser I met 2 years ago was adamant that there will be no charge ever!!! ...

==================================
In regards to the possible charging for your clients. We are still underwriting what are '' Chargeable events'' and at present clients that have members that have ''opted out'' we do not believe will be charged but I am yet to get a 100% confirmation. It is likely within the next 5 days to get a definitive answer but I will let you know as soon as I do.

=================================

Thanks (0)
Replying to oldiegoldy:
avatar
By Kernowlive
03rd Dec 2019 09:32

With just 8 days left to complete their questionnaire (which effectively requires you to agree to the charge), that doesn't leave much time. It does appear a switch to NEST is going to be the only option. Thank you to everyone who responded to the post.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Kernowlive:
avatar
By Kernowlive
09th Dec 2019 11:42

Having just set up a NEST employers scheme, I went to complete the Smart Pension questionnaire this morning and found that it had changed. It now includes options for:

* My employees have opted out

and

* My employees have opted out and I therefore require my account for re-enrolment duties.

It therefore no longer requires acceptance of the £10pm admin charge. I cannot be sure this means the admin charge will no longer apply, but it looks hopeful.

Thanks (0)
Share this content