Why First Actuarial focuses on Payroll

According to a survey published this week by the CIPP , payroll will take charge of implementing auto-enrolment at 40%, HR at 29% and pension providers/departments at 13% of employers.

Yet most pension advisers are still reluctant to talk with payroll professionals about the staging , Assessment and Opt-Out processes that will begin from this October.

First Actuarial have decided this must change. We cannot advise companies on their obligations without including the payroll managers and those responsible for re-designing  systems and processes.

We were surprised that during the consultation with the DWP, providers and advisers felt they could speak  for payroll. We were disappointed to discover that much of the legislation surrounding auto-enrolment seemed to have written in an “operational vacuum”.

So the reason for us to sponsor the Payroll World Pension Auto-Enrolment Roundtable was obvious. We want to be the “go to” consultancy for payroll professionals , whatever the stage of the delivery chain you are.

We don’t hold ourselves out as holding any magic bullets but we have “open ears” and we’re ready to listen to what payroll is saying and what they are asking for.

Our job is to help organisations create and understand the process maps. It is , as importantly, to clarify  “who does what”. We realise that this one size does not fit all.

For the early stagers, who  tend to have more complex HR and payroll arrangements , the division of responsibilities and the clear communication of “who does what” should already be well underway.

But even with smaller companies that may simply use a bureau, the chances of things falling between the cracks are going to be high . They cannot afford to leave these matters to the last minute. We suggest that all companies within two years of staging have established an auto-enrolment working group and we want to be on it!

So we hope that we’ll be hearing from a number of Payroll World’s readers in the weeks and months to come.

Payroll holds the data and so the keys to the success of auto-enrolment! We cannot ignore you – nor you us!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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4 Responses to Why First Actuarial focuses on Payroll

  1. Steve Brice says:

    Henry, read your comments with interest and understand that payroll professionals will ultimately be asked some of the more searching questions when it comes to implimentation. However you and I both know that Steve Bee approached a number of the leading payroll providers some time ago before he designed his AE system with Staff Care and they said that they were not interested in getting involved in pensions!
    This means that the solutions out there right now are not payroll provided, they will be in a few years but they are not now. I, like you have had discussions with Payroll World about getting involved in one of their roundtables but have decided that we will take our efforts in another direction so I wish you luck in your endeavours. Hopefully, for all the clients concerned, this will mean that the message on how to comply comes from more than one area (you seem to agree looking at your CIPP stats) and the upside is that all of them will benefit in the long term as they will get the same message from more than one source!
    The more positive messages we can get out there about how to comply with this particular legislation the better. There is little point in anyone telling clients how bad this will be as it will drive their heads into the sand…. if they aren’t there already.

  2. henry tapper says:


    I think there is a recognition among payroll software suppliers and payroll managers that they have come to the party late. In mitigation, they had enough on their plate with RTI and they are now fully engaged.

    There are two concerns with the “middleware” solutions- cost and time; can they be cost-justified at £2-4 per person per head and can they deliver assesments and manage opt outs in a timely way.

    Most companies will look to their payroll teams for solutions because payroll holds the data, only when payroll runs up the white flag will third party solutions be considered. That said, for the thousands of very small companies who ” get what thye are given” a fully integrated compliance service like JFP may be spot on.

    Let’s hope that many of the payroll’s Steve Bee spoke to have moved on.

  3. Pingback: Payroll folk and Pensions should be friends | Henrytapper's Blog

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