Auto enrolment clinic: Take the opportunity to improve and grow

There’s a misapprehension that auto enrolment (let’s call it AE for short) is all about pensions. It isn’t.

BanksBy Neil Welsh, Banks Wealth Management.

This is a good thing as the bloke in the pub says that pensions are rubbish. He’s wrong of course, because he isn’t aware of some of the recent changes to pensions and how they might work for him and his family, much like your workforce.

Fundamental to the AE process is education - it doesn’t need to be too long, too technical, or from you. However, an overview on the introduction of AE alongside the new pension freedoms announced by the chancellor in the last budget will be time well spent for all concerned.

AE also allows you to review some of your business plans – you can even use it as a tool for recruitment and retention of quality staff within your business. You are also likely to find that in preparing your AE solution and working alongside a financial adviser to do so (which we would recommend, unsurprisingly) then you will identify other business planning opportunities.

These could include the restructure of your own pension to allow for the purchase of your commercial property; putting keyperson or shareholder protection in place to provide money to secure the profits of the business or to buy the shares of a fellow director in the event of their untimely demise. You may also identify routes to profit extraction or an exit-strategy from your business.

As your staging date approaches, the key is to be ahead of the game. With thousands of employers in the same position your responsibility is not to leave it too late. There are an abundance of AE providers out there, some good, some bad, some indifferent. Our role is to assess your business and workforce and direct you towards a scheme that is suitable. Most providers will work alongside your existing payroll systems and will auto-generate the bulk of the necessary employee communications. Don’t leave it too late - you could be faced with the ‘last on the shelf’ and a far greater burden of responsibility yourself.