Small biz auto enrolment service launches
Enrolsme, an online auto enrolment guided solution aimed at small and micro businesses, has officially gone live following a recent soft launch.
Enrolsme, which was set up by financial advisers Foster Denovo at the end of last year, says it can help smaller businesses which have left it too late, and can even help companies comply with AE in less than an hour.
The non-advised process involves a simple three-step process to help businesses comply with the legislation and wind up with a good quality pension scheme provided by either Standard Life or People’s Pension.
“We’ve taken out a lot of the stuff that we think businesses don’t need to know about,” Mathew Mitten, director of Enrolsme told AccountingWEB. “The regulator wants you to know chapter and verse about the various legislation. We’ve got essentially the same steps but shortened the whole process. If they’ve got an existing pension scheme or complex payroll situation, then we’re probably not the right solutions for them. But we are the right solution for 80% of these 1.5m companies that don’t have a pension scheme and have a relatively straightforward situation with regards to their payroll.”
The solution also includes a number of ‘smart defaults’ adding to streamlining the process where possible.
Recent Enrolsme research revealed that 42% of small businesses now plan to turn to their accountant or bookkeeper for guidance when it comes to getting their staff enrolled into a workplace pension. This figure rises to 59% in businesses with between one and five employees.
Mitten told AccountingWEB that 2015 was going to be a real crunch point in the AE programme not only for businesses, but for their accountants too.
“Accountants should be putting automatic enrolment on the agenda for every client meeting this year. As professionals, they are generally good planners; whereas many of their clients are unlikely to be so efficient,” Mitten said.
Around 11% of survey respondents added that they would not plan for AE and would leave it until the last minute.
Mitten explained how advisers could go about avoiding a last minute rush of clients approaching them in the year ahead:
“Accountants should be drawing up short lists of those they need to talk to and to alert about their automatic enrolment responsibilities and deadlines. Accountants we talk to are doing more than sending letters. They are picking up the phone and speaking to their clients.”
In addition, 27% surveyed said their accountant will be primarily responsible for helping them to set up their pension and this rises to almost 40% of businesses with less than five employees.
Mitten added: “If accountants haven’t sourced a solution to their clients’ auto enrolment needs yet, then I’d argue they need to prioritise this sooner rather than later. Otherwise, they may find themselves inundated with worried clients who don’t know what to do and where to turn.”
AccountingWEB has launched the No-one gets left behind campaign to alert as many accountants as possible to the obligations implied by auto enrolment. Read our simple eight-point statement which sets out the auto enrolment facts you need to know.